MELBOURNE--Oil fell from the highest level in four months in New York, paring the longest weekly winning streak in 14 months, before reports that will show whether China halted a seven-quarter economic slowdown.
Futures slid as much as 0.4%. The economy in China, the world’s second-biggest crude user, probably expanded 7.8% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, up from 7.4% in the three months through September, according to a Bloomberg survey before data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Oil jumped the most in two weeks yesterday after U.S. jobless claims fell and Algerian forces stormed an energy complex to free workers seized by an al-Qaeda-linked group.
“China will be the big one today,” said Jonathan Barratt, the chief executive officer of Barratt’s Bulletin, a commodity newsletter in Sydney.
Crude for February delivery slid as much as 35 cents to US$95.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$95.23 at 12:35 p.m. Sydney time. The contract advanced 1.3% to $95.49 yesterday. That’s the biggest gain since Jan. 2 and the highest close since Sept. 17. Prices are up 1.8 percent this week for a sixth straight advance, the longest winning streak since November 2011.
Brent for March settlement dropped 9 cents to US$111.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The front-month European benchmark contract was at a premium of US$15.32 to West Texas Intermediate futures for the same month. The gap was US$15.16 yesterday, the narrowest since July 24. (Bloomberg/tw)