Oil falls on surprise increase to U.S. inventories
Oil prices fell on Wednesday, ending a three-day rally as an unexpected rise in U.S. oil inventories sparked demand concerns and investors awaited inflation data for a steer on U.S. interest rates.
Brent crude dropped $1.01, or 1.3%, to $76.43 a barrel by 0855 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 99 cents, or 1.3%, to $72.72.
In a possible sign of weakening demand, U.S. crude inventories rose by about 3.6 million barrels in the week ended May 5 while gasoline stockpiles rose by 399,000 barrels, the American Petroleum Institute was reported as saying by market sources on Tuesday.
The data defied expectations from eight analysts polled by Reuters for a drawdown of 900,000 barrels of crude and a 1.2 million barrel drop in gasoline stocks. U.S. government data on oil inventories is due on Wednesday.
The surprising U.S. inventory build along with lower crude imports and April’s softer export growth in China exacerbated worries about global oil demand.
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