U.S. oil inventories probably rose for the 16th time in 18 weeks as refineries reduced operating rates last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts before an Energy Department report tomorrow. Crude fell as the U.S. currency rebounded against the euro, reducing the appeal of dollar-priced commodities as a hedge against inflation.
Crude oil for March delivery fell as much as $1.33, or 2.9 percent, to $44.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $44.89 at 1:45 p.m. London time.
The euro traded at $1.3171 at 1:20 p.m. London time, down 0.13 percent. It earlier rose as high as $1.333.
March futures rose 9 percent last week to $47 a barrel because of temporary factors” such as cold weather in the U.S. and storage demand for refined products, according to Goldman Sachs report.
Brent crude oil for March settlement fell as much as $1.74, or 3.7 percent, to $45.22 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, and was trading at $45.84 at 1:22 p.m. local time.
U.S. crude stockpiles probably increased 2.5 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 23 from 332.7 million the week before, according to the median of seven analyst estimates before an Energy Department report this week. All the analysts said supplies would rise from a 16-month high the week ended Jan. 16.