Home Investing News Oil prices extend losses, at 4-mth low on outsized US inventory build

Oil prices extend losses, at 4-mth low on outsized US inventory build

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Investing.com– Oil prices fell slightly in Asian trade on Wednesday, remaining at four-month lows after industry data pointed to an unexpected, bumper build in U.S. inventories. 

The data, which came after a string of weak U.S. economic prints, added to concerns over slowing demand as economic growth cools.

Brent oil futures expiring in August fell 0.1% to $77.44 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.1% to $72.98 a barrel by 20:53 ET (00:53 GMT). Both contracts extended losses into a sixth consecutive session, and were close to their weakest levels since early-February.

US inventories see bumper build- API 

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude inventories saw a build of about 4 million barrels in the week to May 31, ducking expectations for a draw of 1.9 million barrels. 

Gasoline and distillate inventories also clicked builds, raising more concerns about demand in the world’s biggest fuel consumer, even as the travel-heavy summer season began. 

The potential build in inventories also came despite the Memorial Day weekend, which marks the beginning of the summer season. 

The API data usually heralds a similar reading from official government inventory data, which is due on Wednesday. 

Oil nurses steep losses amid demand fears, OPEC+ outlook 

Oil prices were nursing steep losses this week, especially after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies signaled that it planned to begin scaling back some production cuts this year. 

The move presented a weak outlook for oil prices going into 2025, especially if demand remained stagnant. Weak economic data from major global oil consumers added to this concern. 

In the U.S., weak data on job openings, a middling purchasing managers index reading and a downgraded gross domestic product print all raised concerns over cooling economic growth, which could present softer oil demand in the coming months.

Top oil importer China also posted mixed PMI readings for May.

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