Oil climbed 4 percent yesterday as U.S. stocks advanced the most in a month on speculation the government may not have to nationalize banks. U.S. crude inventories probably increased by 1.25 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of 14 analysts before today’s Energy Department report.
Crude oil for April delivery gained as much as 90 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $40.86 a barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $40.58 at 1:08 p.m. London time. Prices have fallen 59 percent in the past year.
U.S. inventories fell 138,000 barrels in the week ended Feb. 13, the first decline so far this year. The Energy Department will release its report at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.
Supplies rose by 341,000 barrels to 346.2 million barrels a day last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said in a report released after the markets closed yesterday in Washington.
Crude imports in Japan dropped 8 percent in January from a year earlier, the finance ministry said today. Nippon Oil Corp., the country’s largest oil refiner, will slash crude oil processing by 22 percent in March from a year earlier as a milder-than-average winter reduces heating-oil demand, a company spokesman said by telephone.
Brent crude oil for April settlement gained as much as 62 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $43.12 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $42.75 a barrel at 1:09 p.m. London time.
The 11 OPEC members with quotas, all except Iraq, reduced output by 3.8 percent to 25.3 million barrels a day in February, according to consultant PetroLogistics Ltd. of Geneva. That’s down from 26.3 million barrels in January, according to Conrad Gerber, founder of PetroLogistics. Members have a quota of 24.845 million barrels a day.