Commodity Corner: WTI-Brent Spread Widens

Light sweet crude oil for November delivery slipped to $85.57 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Information Administration revised downward its world oil demand forecast.

EIA predicts that world crude oil and liquid fuels consumption will increase from 87.1 million barrels per day in 2010 to 88.4 million barrels per day this year. The figure for 2011 is 50,000 barrels per day lower than the previous estimate. For 2012, the agency anticipates a consumption figure of 89.8 million barrels per day.

Despite Slovakia's rejection Tuesday of a plan to bolster the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), a euro-zone bailout fund, the Brent benchmark settled higher during the midweek session. Thanks to optimism that the only holdout among the 17-country bloc will approve the proposal before the weekend, Brent futures ended the day at $111.36. The WTI traded within a range from $84.52 to $86.59 while the Brent fluctuated from $111.20 to $112.94.

November natural gas lost 3.6 percent to settle at $3.49 per thousand cubic feet. It peaked at $3.63 and bottomed out at $3.48.

Front-month gasoline remained flat at $2.75 a gallon after fluctuating from $2.726 to $2.77.