West Texas Intermediate traded near a three-day high on speculation U.S. crude inventories declined for a third week, signalling increased demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer.
WTI for August delivery rose as much as 86 cents and was at $106.91 a barrel in electronic trading at 8:47 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 14% below the 100-day average. The contract gained 37 cents yesterday to $106.32, the highest close since the 10th of July.
Regular, unleaded gasoline at U.S. filling stations climbed 14.7 cents from a week earlier to $3.639 a gallon, the highest price since June 10th and 32% above the five-year average, the EIA said on its website yesterday. This week’s gain was the biggest since February 4th.
The U.S. accounted for 21 percent of global oil consumption last year, compared with 11% for China, the second-largest consumer, the International Energy Agency said July 11 in its latest oil-market report.