West TX Oil Around $44 on Record Stock Build

U.S. crude futures were trading near 6-year lows just below $44.50 a barrel in early Asian trade on Thursday, remaining under pressure after data showing U.S. crude stocks surged to their highest on record.

U.S. crude’s front-month contract shed 1 cent at $44.44 a barrel as of 0000 GMT. In the previous session, it settled down $1.78, or almost 4 percent, to $44.45 a barrel. It hit a low of $44.08 before the close, the weakest since April 2009.

Benchmark Brent crude closed down $1.13, or 2.3 percent, at $48.47, after a session low at $48.29.  U.S. crude inventories rose by 8.9 million barrels during the week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Analysts had expected an increase of 4.1 million barrels. The bulk of the rise, 5.5 million barrels, occurred in the Gulf Coast PADD 3 region.

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