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WTI Oil Trades Near One-Week Low as Crude Stockpiles Seen Rising

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate traded near the lowest price in a week amid speculation crude inventories increased in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Futures were little changed in New York after slipping for a second day. Crude stockpiles probably gained by 2.25 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow. WTI slid the most in almost a month yesterday after a manufacturing gauge in the U.S. dropped more than forecast.

WTI for March delivery was at $96.71 a barrel, up 28 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:22 a.m. Sydney time. The contract fell $1.06, or 1.1 percent, to $96.43 yesterday, the lowest settlement since Jan. 27. Prices are down 1.8 percent this year.

Brent for March settlement dropped 36 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $106.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $9.61 to WTI.

U.S. manufacturing expanded in January at the weakest pace in eight months. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index slid to 51.3, lower than the most pessimistic forecast in a separate Bloomberg News survey, from 56.5 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed.

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