Crude oil futures fell in early Asian trade on Wednesday after U.S. inventories showed a weekly buildup that far exceeded analyst expectations.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) said late on Tuesday that U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose by 4.6 million barrels to 457.8 million barrels in the week to Sept. 25. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an increase of only 102,000 barrels.
Front-month U.S. crude had dropped 49 cents, more than 1 percent, to 44.74 a barrel by 0012 GMT (2012 EDT). The contract settled Tuesday’s trade at $45.23 a barrel, up 80 cents, or 1.8 percent, on the day.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 37 cents to $47.86 a barrel. On Tuesday, the contract rose 89 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $48.23.
The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue official weekly inventory data on Wednesday.