(Bloomberg) -- Oil retreated as the highest U.S. crude supplies in more than 80 years outweighed a weakening U.S. dollar.
West Texas Intermediate oil slipped 1.7 percent. Crude stockpiles climbed 7.79 million barrels to 502.7 million last week, the highest since the 1930s, according to weekly and monthly data from the Energy Information Administration. Futures climbed as much as 4.1 percent earlier as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency against major peers, declined on signs of a slowing U.S. economy.
"There’s only so much the dollar can do in the face of these overwhelming fundamentals," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. "It looks like we’ve priced in the dollar’s weakness."
Oil is down 14 percent this year as the market focuses on an expected boost in Iranian exports after the removal of sanctions and brimming U.S. crude stockpiles. Venezuela said six OPEC members and two non-members would attend an extraordinary meeting if one is called. Commerzbank AG said it’s skeptical that any output cuts will result from the effort. Royal Dutch Shell Plc said fourth-quarter profit fell 44 percent.
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery slipped 56 cents to close at $31.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It surged 8 percent Wednesday. Prices closed below $30 on Tuesday for the first time since Jan. 21 after the biggest two- day decline since 2009. Total volume traded was 70 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for April settlement fell 58 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $34.46 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude closed at an $1.08 premium to April WTI.
“The low is in,” T. Boone Pickens, the founder and chairman of BP Capital LLC, said Thursday in an interview on “Bloomberg Go."“The market is going to be volatile. It’s not going to go straight up, so there will be good entry points.”
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