Oil held near $75 a barrel as Hurricane Michael threatened supply in the U.S. just as the nation’s stockpiles were forecast to increase.
Futures in New York fell 0.2 percent after rising to a week’s high on Tuesday.
Hurricane Michael, poised to be the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since 2004, has curtailed Gulf of Mexico oil production by 40 percent. U.S. crude inventories probably rose for a third week, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Crude has climbed about 15 percent since mid-August on supply concerns, prompting the International Energy Agency to urge producers to pump more as the market is “entering the red zone.” While prices have eased from near a four-year high, U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his attack on OPEC on Tuesday, saying “ I don’t like $74.”
“There’s some setback in prices today after a good performance on Tuesday,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG. “The market is awaiting different set of news including Michael’s impact, and U.S. crude inventory data.”
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $74.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:33 a.m. local time, down 13 cents, after rising 67 cents on Tuesday. Total volume traded was about 30 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for December settlement was 16 cents lower at $84.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after rising $1.09 on Tuesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a $10.12 premium to WTI for the same month.
Michael, with winds strengthening to 140 miles an hour, is set to make landfall in Florida Wednesday. Storm warnings and watches have been issued for the Atlantic coast as far north as the Carolinas, and many ports are closed.
“Hurricane Michael is the top concern for the oil market this week,” said Jens Naervig Pedersen, senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.
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