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West Texas Intermediate crude declined from a five-week high on speculation that U.S. inventories are sufficient to meet increasing fuel demand. Brent slipped below $110 after elections in Ukraine.
Futures fell as much as 0.7 percent in New York. U.S. crude supplies, which rose in April to the highest level since the government began publishing weekly data in 1982, are near a record for the time of year. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, dropped to a six-year low in the week ended May 16. Ukraine’s President-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to wipe out the separatists.
“There are ample crude supplies here in the U.S.,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The picture has been muddied because of tightness at Cushing. WTI will be under pressure because there is so much supply elsewhere.”
WTI for July delivery fell 27 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $104.08 a barrel at 10:49 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $104.50 for a second day, the highest intraday level since April 21. The volume of all futures traded was 12 percent below the 100-day average.
There was no floor trading in New York yesterday because of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday and electronic transactions will be booked today for settlement purposes.
Brent for July settlement decreased 11 cents to $110.21 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 13 percent lower than the 100-day average. The range was $109.75 to $110.80. The North Sea crude traded at a $6.13 premium to WTI, compared with $6.19 at the close on May 23.
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