Brent crude slipped to less than $105 a barrel ahead of the European Central Bank‘s policy meeting and US third-quarter GDP numbers, due to be announced later in the day.

Brent crude dropped by 31 cents to hit $104.93 a barrel, while US crude was down by seven cents to settle at $94.73, reported Reuters.

Traders are cautiously waiting for the outcome from the governing council policy meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt and US third-quarter GDP numbers to get a clear picture about oil demand in these economies.

The ECB is widely expected to retain interest rates at 0.5% while hinting at future easing, probably at its December meeting, when it releases its quarterly economic projections.

The Bank of England (BOE) is expected to revise its quarterly growth forecasts, while leaving its monetary policy unchanged.

The decreased prices were also influenced by US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, which showed crude oil inventories grew by 1.58 million barrels, slightly less than the forecast of 1.6 million.

The steep drawdowns in oil product stockpiles overshadowed an increase in crude inventories to 385 million barrels in the week ending 1 November said Reuters.

Investors are awaiting details of the US Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payroll, scheduled for 8 November, to compare if the Federal Reserve might begin winding down its $85bn-a-month bond-buying programme.

Economists in a Reuters poll expect an unemployment rate of 7.3% and a payrolls increase of 130,000.

Prices were impacted by continued progress in discussions between Iran and the West, over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.

Image: Oil prices decreased as investors wait for clues on policy from the European Central Bank meeting. Photo courtesy of