Oil declines as rising U.S. stockpiles signal faltering demand
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 30 / Trend /
Oil declined in New York as signs of rising U.S. crude supplies stoked speculation demand may falter in the world's biggest consumer of the commodity, Bloomberg reported.
Futures slid as much as 0.6 percent after the industry- funded American Petroleum Institute said stockpiles climbed 5.7 million barrels last week, advancing for the fourth week. Energy Department data today may show inventories rose 1.5 million barrels. Confidence among U.S. consumers dropped more than forecast in March as fuel costs surged.
"Stockpiles are still going up," Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services Pty in Sydney, said by telephone today. "The market is focused on the fact that if oil remains high that will dampen expectations of a recovery."
Crude for May delivery fell as much as 66 cents to $104.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $104.32 at 12:09 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract rose 81 cents to settle at $104.79. Prices are 14 percent higher for the quarter and 7.6 percent for the month.
Brent crude for May settlement slipped 44 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $114.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Yesterday, the contract gained 36 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $115.16.