Oil futures extended losses after a U.S. government report showed inventories increased for the fourth time in five weeks.
Supplies rose 1.77 million barrels to to 374.8 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said today. Stockpiles were forecast to gain 2 million barrels, according to the median of 11 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday that supplies slipped 27,000 barrels last week to 371.7 million.
Crude oil for December delivery fell $2.92, or 3.3 percent, to $85.79 a barrel at 10:36 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil traded at $86.10 a barrel before release of the inventory report at 10:30 a.m.
Futures also declined as U.S. President President Barack Obama won re-election and as Greece prepared to vote on austerity measures. The president now faces negotiating with Congress to avoid more than $600 billion in mandated tax gains and spending cuts. Greeceâ€™s parliament votes today on a package to unlock bailout funds.
â€œWith the election over, we can look ahead to other issues,â€ said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. â€œThe focus will be on the fiscal cliff and Europe, neither of which is cause for celebration.â€
While Obama received at least 303 electoral votes to Romneyâ€™s 206, Republicans kept a majority in the House of Representatives. Democrats retained control of the Senate.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras seeks parliamentary approval today for budget cuts to unlock bailout funds amid the third general strike in six weeks.
The 238 pages of austerity measures range from raising the retirement age two years to 67 to eliminating Christmas and holiday payments for pensioners. Approval of the legislation is the first of the votes required by Nov. 12 to unlock a 31 billion-euro ($40 billion) package of international aid.
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