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West Texas Intermediate crude retreated for the first time in five days amid speculation that the end of the peak driving season and start of refinery maintenance will curb demand.
WTI fell as much as 1.5 percent as gasoline futures reached the lowest level for a front-month contract since November. The main driving season in the U.S. typically runs through Labor Day and refineries slow operations during scheduled maintenance that peaks in September and October.
"It's the typical post-holiday selloff," said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania. "We are going into refinery turnaround pretty soon. All that bullish exuberance has been exorcised out of the market right now."
WTI for October delivery declined $1.25, or 1.3 percent, to $94.71 a barrel at 10:30 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all the futures was 27 percent above the 100-day average. Floor trading was closed yesterday for the Labor Day holiday and electronic trading will be booked for settlement purposes today.
Brent for October settlement dropped $1.03, or 1 percent, to $101.76 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $7.11 to WTI on the ICE, compared with a close of $7.23 on Aug. 29.
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