Oil futures ended at almost a five-month low on Monday as fears that Greece’s inability to appoint a government would result in the break-up of the euro zone.
Crude oil for June delivery fell 1.4%, to end the day at $94.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement point for a most active contract since mid December.
Oil’s price decline comes just two day ahead of the release of U.S. weekly oil data which are expected to show crude-oil stockpiles rose. According to the average forecast of six analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, U.S. crude-oil inventories rose by 1 million barrels in the week ended May 11. Five of six analysts sexpect a rise. Forecasts ranged from a gain of 2.2 million barrels to a drop of 1.5 million barrels. The Energy Information Administration’s survey will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
If oil reserves rise by 1 million barrels, stocks will remain at their highest level since Aug. 3, 1990 and will be the highest ever recorded by the EIA since they started collecting weekly records in 1982.
The analysts average forecast is for gasoline stocks to fall by 100,000 barrels; however, the range of estimates varies widely. Forecasts range from a 2.5-million-barrel decline to a 3-million-barrel increase.