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WTI Trades Near 16-Month Low Before Stockpile Data; Brent Steady

West Texas Intermediate traded near the lowest price in more than 16 months before stockpile data that may signal the strength of fuel demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent was steady in London.

Futures swung between gains and losses in New York, little changed from the close on Sept. 22.Crude stockpiles probably expanded by 750,000 barrels last week to 363 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report today. Saudi Arabiaand Qatar are among countries that joined the first wave of U.S.-led air strikes in Syria against Islamic State.

“We’re still seeing more supply,” Jonathan Barratt, the Sydney-based chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities, said by phone today. “The market is starting to discount a lot of what’s happening in the Middle East.”

WTI for November delivery was at $91.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 30 cents, at 5:08 p.m. Sydney time. The contract closed at $91.52 on Sept. 22, the lowest since May 1, 2013. The volume of all futures traded was about 28 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have decreased 6.7 percent this year.

Brent for November settlement was up 6 cents at $96.91 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.04 to WTI. The spread closed at $5.29 yesterday, the narrowest in a week.

Fuel Supplies

U.S. crude stockpiles increased for the first time in five weeks through Sept. 12, reaching the highest level since 2012 for that time of the year. Production rose by 248,000 barrels a day to 8.838 million, the most since March 1986, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

Distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, expanded by 500,000 barrels in the week ended Sept. 19, the median estimate in the Bloomberg survey of 11 analysts showed before today’s EIA report. Gasoline stockpiles are forecast to be unchanged at 210.7 million.

In Syria, the bombing of Islamic State militants was carried out by the broadest Arab-U.S. military coalition since the 1991 Gulf War. Fighter jets, bomber aircraft and drones hit 22 targets near their stronghold of Raqqa and along the Iraqi border, according to the U.S. military.

WTI has technical support along its lower Bollinger Band, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Futures have halted declines since July near this indicator, at about $90.60 a barrel today. Buy orders tend to be clustered around chart-support levels.