Oil fell for a fifth day after Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said prices are too high and a survey signaled that inventories rose to the most in more than 21 years in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer.
West Texas Intermediate futures in New York dropped as much as 1.3 percent after closing at a three-month low yesterday. Crude prices are “still a little bit high,” al-Naimi said in Tokyo today. U.S. stockpiles climbed 1.9 million barrels to 377.8 million last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before tomorrow’s Energy Department report. Crude’s 14-day relative strength index slipped, suggesting that further declines may not be sustained.
“We’ve seen a fairly significant inventory build-up,” Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said in a telephone interview today. “The recent trend of the market is obviously down and at this stage, from a technical point of view, looks to be remaining in a short-term downtrend.”
Crude for June delivery fell as much as $1.23 to $96.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.87 as of 11:36 a.m. London time. The contract slid 55 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $97.94 yesterday, the lowest close since Feb. 6. Prices are down 2 percent this year.