Oil prices fell on Wednesday after an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stocks, adding to a picture of global oversupply that has dragged down values over the past year.
Industry data released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub rose 2.3 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of the same volume. [API/S]
“The U.S. crude oil stocks build reported by the API last night is weighing on prices,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
U.S. crude CLc1 held above $50 a barrel, trading down 64 cents at $50.22 at 1140 GMT, 1.2 percent lower than the previous session’s settlement.
The August contract CLQ5, which expired on Tuesday, settled at $50.36 a barrel on its last day of trade, after slipping as low as $49.77 during the session, its weakest point in more than three months.
Brent crude LCOc1 was down 40 cents at $56.64 a barrel.
U.S. government crude stocks data to be released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) at 1430 GMT is expected to shed further light on the build-up in inventories.
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