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Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Oil slumps as surprise gasoline build raises supply worries

by April 19, 2017 General

By Julia Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – slumped to a two-week low on Wednesday, after U.S. data showed a smaller-than-expected drop in overall crude stocks and a surprising build in gasoline inventories, which raised worries about excessively high supply.

U.S. crude futures settled down $1.97 to $50.44 a barrel, a 3.8 percent drop, the worst-one day decline since March 8, as investors bailed out of long positions in response to the bearish inventory figures.

U.S. crude stocks fell 1 million barrels in the latest week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, less than anticipated. Gasoline stocks posted a counter-seasonal build of 1.5 million barrels, despite heavier refining activity.

The surprise build in gasoline, along with an increase in U.S. production and imports from OPEC nations, pressured prices.

A crude glut has persisted even as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producing countries have worked to reduce output under an agreement to cut supplies almost 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017.

U.S. stockpiles and production have cast doubt on whether the OPEC cuts were enough. U.S. production rose to 9.252 million barrels a day in the most recent week, the highest since August 2015.

“They drop production, we add production, and so at end of the day it’s ugly,” said Robert Yawger, energy futures strategist at Mizuho Americas.

(Additional reporting by David Gaffen in New York, Henning Gloystein in Singapore and Libby George, Amanda Cooper and Alex Lawler in London; Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)