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Oil Trades Near Four-Month Low on Demand Concern, Supply Growth

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Crude traded near its lowest level in four months amid speculation that risks to the U.S. and European economies will restrain demand while supplies increase.

West Texas Intermediate futures, little changed this week, may decline next week on concern that Europe’s debt crisis will reduce economic growth and fuel demand in the region, a Bloomberg survey showed. WTI plunged to $84.44 a barrel on Nov. 7, its lowest close since July 10, after U.S. government data showed crude inventories rose for the fourth time in five weeks.

“The potential to the downside is higher than to the upside,” said Gerrit Zambo, an oil trader at Bayerische Landesbank in Munich. “There is still the chance of sliding into a mild recession, and the oil market is quite saturated with supply.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery slipped 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $84.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:38 a.m. London time. It earlier rose as much as 0.6 percent. Prices are down 14 percent this year.

Brent for December settlement declined 11 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $107.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $22.21 to New York-traded WTI.

Nineteen of 33 analysts and traders, or 58 percent, forecast WTI futures will decrease through Nov. 16. Seven respondents, or 21 percent, predicted that futures will gain and seven said there will be little change in prices.

Greece Aid

Euro-area finance ministers may not make a decision on unlocking 31.5 billion euros ($40.1 billion) of aid for Greece until late November, a European Union official said yesterday. Finance chiefs will wait for a full report on the country’s compliance with the terms of its bailout, the official said on condition of anonymity because the deliberations are private.

Crude in New York is in a downtrend channel on the daily chart, signaling price advances may not be sustainable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures have traded between the middle and lower Bollinger Bands for the past seven weeks. The indicators, representing technical resistance and support levels respectively, are at about $88.70 and $83 a barrel today.

U.S. crude supplies increased 1.77 million barrels to 374.8 million barrels last week, the Energy Department data showed.

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