Oil heads for weekly gain


West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude was poised for a sec­ond weekly de­cline, while Brent headed for a loss, nar­row­ing the dis­count be­tween the two bench­marks. WTI gained as much as 0.4 per­cent in New York and is headed for a 1.4 per­cent in­crease this week. OPEC will boost daily crude ex­ports by 300,000 bar­rels to 23.75 mil­lion in the four weeks to March 30 as re­finer­ies in Europe and the U.S. re­sume af­ter main­te­nance, ac­cord­ing to Oil Move­ments, a tanker tracker. The spread be­tween WTI and Brent is set for the big­gest weekly drop in 11 months.

"It makes sense that the spread be­tween Brent and WTI will nar­row fur­ther," said Hannes Loacker, an an­a­lyst at Raif­feisen Bank In­ter­na­tional AG (RBI) in Vi­enna, who pre­dicts the dif­fer­ence will shrink to $12 a bar­rel by the end of the year. Fu­tures for April de­liv­ery rose as much as 34 cents to $93.37 a bar­rel in elec­tronic trad­ing on NY Mer­can­tile Ex­change and was at $93.12.

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