Oil may fall for a second week amid speculation refiners will start building inventories at the beginning of the year, a Bloomberg News survey showed.
Eighteen of 31 analysts, or 58 percent, forecast crude oil will decline through Jan. 7. Ten respondents, or 32 percent, predicted prices will rise and three estimated there would be little change. Last week, 53 percent of analysts forecast the market would increase.
Supplies fell 1.26 million barrels last week to 339.4 million, government figures released yesterday showed. Stockpiles have declined by 20.3 million barrels, or 5.6 percent, this month, the most in four years. The drop was 12 percent, the most in 30 years, along the Gulf Coast, where refiners have a tax incentive to cut inventories at year’s end.
“I expect that some bull fatigue will result in prices falling, especially as the end of the year will suggest that companies will begin building inventories again,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester Massachusetts.
Crude oil for February delivery slipped 13 cents to $91.38 a barrel this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures rose 15 percent this year. They touched a 26-month high of $92.06 a barrel in intraday trading today.
The oil survey has correctly predicted the direction of futures 46 percent of the time since its start in April 2004.
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