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Oil falls third day near two-month low as supplies seen expanding

Oil prices
Oil prices

Oil extended losses from the lowest close in two months before U.S. government data forecast to show crude stockpiles expanded in the world’s biggest consumer.

Futures slid as much as 1.5 percent in New York, falling for a third day. Inventories probably rose by 3.1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Algeria supports Venezuela’s call for a summit of heads of state from OPEC and other oil-exporting nations to lift prices, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said in Paris.

Oil’s rally above $50 a barrel earlier this month failed as surging U.S. inventories bolstered speculation that a global glut will be prolonged. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to pump above its quota and the International Energy Agency sees world crude supplies remaining ample until at least the middle of 2016.

“Oil could potentially drift lower and test new lows,” David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone. “There is an excess of supply but there is still some demand, it hasn’t completely dried up.”

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery lost as much as 65 cents to $43.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $43.36 at 5:43 p.m. Sydney time. The contract dropped 62 cents to $43.98 on Monday, the lowest close since Aug. 27. The volume of all futures traded was about 64 percent above the 100-day average. Prices have lost 18 percent this year.

Brent for December settlement decreased as much as 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $47.05 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.70 to WTI.

U.S. crude stockpiles climbed for a fourth week through Oct. 16, the longest run of gains since April, keeping inventories more than 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average, EIA data show. OPEC has pumped above its 30- million-barrel-a-day quota the past 16 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The current price of oil “is not satisfactory,” Algeria’s Lamamra said Monday in an interview after meeting French President Francois Hollande. Venezuela has proposed a meeting in November to discuss the price needed to sustain investments in future supplies.

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