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WTI Crude’s Discount to Brent Narrows to Least Since October

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate crude’s discount to Brent narrowed to the least since October before data forecast to show that distillate fuel inventories declined for a seventh week in the U.S., the biggest oil consumer.

WTI rose as much as 0.8 percent in New York, shrinking the discount to North Sea Brent to the least since Oct. 9. Distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, probably dropped by 1.25 million barrels, according to the median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg before the report from the Energy Department today. Temperatures will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit or more below normal from Montana to western New York through March 1, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Today, market participants will pay close attention to the U.S. weekly fuel inventory numbers,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in an e-mailed report. “ As far as WTI prices are concerned in the near term, it is the weather outlook that is the most important.Heating demand remains fairly decent.”

WTI for April delivery advanced as much as 76 cents to $102.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading at $102.34 as of 1:17 p.m. London time. The contract dropped to $101.83 yesterday, the lowest settlement since Feb. 14. The volume of all futures traded was 7 percent below the 100-day average.

The U.S. benchmark crude’s discount to Brent on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London shrank to as little as $6.75 a barrel. Brent for April settlement slipped 13 cents to $109.38 a barrel on ICE.

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