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West Texas Intermediate headed for its first monthly advance since February as crude inventories shrank at the delivery point for New York contracts. Brent was steady in London, poised for a second monthly gain amid violence in Ukraine.
Futures were little changed after rising 0.8 percent yesterday. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub, dropped by 1.53 million barrels last week to the lowest level since November 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration. Supplies nationwide expanded by 1.66 million, compared with a 500,000 barrel gain estimated in a Bloomberg News survey.
“WTI has been supported during the month of May by strong stock draws in Cushing and by short covering from large speculators,” Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland, said by e-mail.
WTI for July delivery was at $103.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 54 cents, at 12:59 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was about 36 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices are up 3.3 percent this month.
Brent for July settlement was 43 cents lower at $109.54 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.49 to WTI, compared with $8.33 at the end of April.
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