New York, US (BBN) – Crude oil prices fell in Asia on Wednesday after industry estimates showed a sharp gain in US inventories.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery fell 0.23 per cent to $48.13 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was last quoted at $50.85 a barrel, reports
Crude stocks rose by 4.53 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, a larger than expected build, while gasoline inventories dropped by a more than expected 4.93 million barrels and distillates fell by 880,000 barrels.
Supplies at the oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 1.97 million barrels.
The figures were expected to show a crude stock build of 2.8 million barrels at the end of last week.
Gasoline supplies are seen down 2.008 million barrels, while distillates likely declined by 1.386 million barrels.
The API figures are followed on Wednesday by official data from the US Energy Information Administration.
Overnight, crude settled lower on Tuesday, ahead of the API report and inventories from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) due to be released on Wednesday.
Meanwhile a slump in the dollar to six-week lows failed to lift dollar denominated crude – the US Dollar Index dipped below the 100 level and is on track for its fifth straight session of losses weighed by the Federal Reserve’s dovish outlook on rate hikes.
Elsewhere, investors disregarded a report from insider sources within OPEC, which suggested that OPEC oil producers increasingly favor extending its deal to cut oil production beyond June.
In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an effort to combat the oversupply issue that has pressured prices over the last two years.