US Crude Near Flat Before Inventory Report

Reuters

NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures settled nearly unchanged on Tuesday, paring gains toward the close as traders took profits ahead of a weekly inventory report, while Brent prices fell, pressured by resuming Libyan supply.

U.S. commercial crude inventories were forecast by a poll of analysts to have risen 1.5 million barrels last week, with stockpiles potentially rising above 400 million barrels for the first time on record.

Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for U.S. crude have dropped in the last three weeks, however, as new infrastructure relieves recent bottlenecks at the key oil hub, which has provided some support for prices.

U.S. oil rose 2 cents to settle at $99.50 a barrel, after hitting a mid-session high of $100.42. Brent crude fell 66 cents to 107.06 per barrel.

Some analysts noted U.S. crude oil prices have traded in a range between the 200-day moving average of $100.57 per barrel and 100-day moving average of $99.35.

"We caught support on the 100-day and hit a wall on the 200-day," said Oliver Sloup, director of managed futures at iitrader.com. "There was some profit-taking ahead of the inventory report."

The American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, is due to issue its weekly inventory report for U.S. crude on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), while the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue its official report on Wednesday.


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Brent Crude Oil : $50.56/BBL 0.15%
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