WTI At Its Lowest In Six Months Before US Economic Data

by on August 4, 2014 12:12 pm BST

WTI Futures were little changed in New York and London today after declining last week. The Markit Economics purchasing managers index for U.S. services is due tomorrow, while factory order data is also scheduled this week. In Iraq, militants seized control of two oil fields and some predominantly Kurdish towns in the north after clashes, according to Northern Oil Co.

WTI trades near six months low before economic data from the US, as Brent is little changed near a four-month low

WTI for September delivery was at $98.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 14 cents. The contract slid 0.3 percent to $97.88 on Aug. 1, the lowest close since Feb. 6. The volume of all futures traded was about 21 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 0.4 percent this year.

Brent for September settlement rose 4 cents to $104.88 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 11:20 a.m. local time. It slipped 1.1 percent to $104.84 on Aug. 1, the lowest settlement since April 2. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $6.87 to WTI, compared with $6.96 on Aug. 1.

WTI declined 4.1 percent last week amid signs of weaker U.S. fuel demand. Gasoline supplies rose to the highest level in four months as average consumption of the fuel dropped to the lowest since May, even after the country’s peak driving season started with the Memorial Day holiday on May 26.

Markit’s final reading of a gauge for U.S. services is projected to be 60.8 in July, down from 61 in June. Factory orders probably rose to 0.6 percent in June, a separate survey shows.

Hedge funds and other money managers trimmed their bullish bets on WTI, extending the drop from this year’s peak in June to 22 percent, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Net-long positions fell 1,375 to 276,741 futures and options combined in the week ended July 29, according to the CFTC.