Oil held its gains near $42 a barrel before U.S. government data forecast to show crude stockpiles expanded for an eighth week in the world’s biggest consumer.
Futures were little changed in New York after rising 2.5 percent Monday as France bombed targets in Syria in response to terrorist attacks in Paris. Inventories probably increased by 1.75 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before Energy Information Administration data Wednesday. The average price of crude sold by OPEC fell below $40 a barrel for the first time since 2009, according to the organization’s secretariat in Vienna.
Oil has slumped about 45 percent the past year amid speculation a global glut will persist as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to pump above its collective quota. French President Francois Hollande called on the U.S. and Russia to forge a new alliance to destroy Islamic State.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery was at $41.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 12 cents, at 8:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. The contract climbed $1 to $41.74 on Monday. The volume of all futures traded was about 34 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for January settlement advanced 9 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $44.56 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $1.77 to WTI for January.