Futures were little changed in New York after falling just 1 cent yesterday. Crude inventories are forecast to have expanded by 3.8 million barrels to 381.5 million last week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before government data tomorrow. OPEC is unlikely to reduce its production target when it meets next month, Mohsen Qamsari, a director for international affairs at National Iranian Oil Co., said yesterday according to the Oil Ministry's news service, Censor.NET reports citing Bloomberg.
"It's clear that the supply situation is at a record in terms of stockpiles, so it's going to take some time to clear that excess," Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone today. With OPEC, "the expectation is that they will announce a cut, but the question is whether or not they will deliver on them."
WTI for December delivery was at $81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:45 a.m. London time, unchanged from yesterday, which was the lowest closing price since Oct. 22. The volume of all futures traded was about 34 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices have declined 18 percent this year.
Brent for December settlement was 20 cents lower at $85.63 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $4.61 to WTI on ICE. The spread closed at $4.83 yesterday, narrowing for the first time in a week.