Market Insider

Crude prices could do an about-face, and soon

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After jumping to a four-month high, domestic crude oil could be close to topping out for now and heading to what could be the lowest prices of the year.

West Texas Intermediate sold off Tuesday, ahead of government inventory data that are expected to show a buildup in supplies. The report is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. WTI crude for April delivery settled at $101.64 per barrel, a decline of $1.18 a barrel.

"It's hard to call a top, but the second quarter ought to be pretty weak compared to the first quarter," said Edward Morse, Citigroup global head of commodities research. Citigroup expects prices to rise again in the second half and on Tuesday raised its forecast for oil prices in 2014 and 2015.