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WTI Oil Holds Near $101 a Barrel as Crude Stockpiles Seen Rising

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate swung between gains and losses near $101 a barrel amid speculation that crude stockpiles increased for the 14th time in 15 weeks in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Futures were little changed in New York after rising 0.2 percent yesterday. Crude inventories probably expanded by 1.1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow. WTI’s discount to Brent in London narrowed after the European contract slid the most in almost a month as Libya paved the way to resume oil exports from the eastern port of Zueitina.

WTI for June delivery was at $100.82 a barrel, down 2 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:06 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 24 cents yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was about 82 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 0.8 percent this month.

Brent for June settlement dropped $1.46, or 1.3 percent, to $108.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $7.28 to WTI.

Libya’s 70,000 barrel-a-day Zueitina terminal is ready to receive tankers for loading, Mohamed Elharari, spokesman of state-run National Oil Corp., said yesterday in a text message. An agreement reached on April 6 provided for rebels to hand over control of two of the four ports they seized in July, in return for an official amnesty and salary payments claimed by defectors from the country’s Petroleum Facilities Guard.

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