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11.07.2013 15:40

Crude slips from 15-month high on jobless data

West Texas Intermediate slipped from a 15-month high as more Americans than expected filed for unemployment benefits and the International Energy Agency predicted global supply will outstrip demand growth next year.

Prices dropped as much as 1.7 percent after the Labor Department said jobless claims increased to a two-month high in the week ended July 6. First-time jobless claims rose by 16,000 to 360,000 last week, the Labor Department said. The median forecast of 47 economists called for a drop to 340,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, climbed to 351,750 last week from 345,750.

Oil production in non-OPEC countries will expand at the fastest pace in 20 years in 2014, the IEA said. World oil consumption will climb by 1.2 million barrels a day next year, the Paris-based IEA said in its first monthly report with forecasts for 2014. Supplies from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will jump by 1.3 million barrels a day amid booming output in North America, curbing the need for crude from the 12-member producer group, according to the report.

Oil has jumped more than 9 percent this month on concern that Egypt’s political upheaval will disrupt Middle East exports.

WTI for August delivery declined $1.76, or 1.7 percent, to $104.76 a barrel at 11:07 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed to $107.45 a barrel earlier, the highest intraday price since March 27, 2012. The volume of all WTI futures traded was 63 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for August settlement slid 87 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 14 percent above 100-day average. WTI’s discount to Brent, the European benchmark, narrowed in intraday trading to as little as $1.32 a barrel, the smallest gap since Nov. 15, 2010. The retreat in WTI futures allowed the grade’s discount to North Sea Brent to widen again.

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