Oil prices fell on Thursday, hit by another record build-up in US crude inventories and the US Federal Reserve’s projections that the world’s biggest economy would shrink 6.5% this year.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures erased Wednesday’s gains, falling 4%, or $1.65, to $40.08 a barrel by 1156 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 dropped 4.7%, or $1.87, to $37.73 a barrel. Both benchmarks are set for their worst daily drop in two weeks.
“Prices are once again under pressure as concerns over the pace of the demand recovery intensified,” said Rystad Energy’s oil markets analyst Paola Rodriguez Masiu.
US crude inventories rose unexpectedly by 5.7 million barrels in the week to June 5 to 538.1 million barrels – a record – as imports were boosted by the arrival of supplies bought by refiners when Saudi Arabia flooded the market in March and April, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed.
It also showed gasoline stockpiles grew more than expected to 258.7 million barrels.—Agencies