Oil settled below $50 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by an industry report saying U.S. crude stocks rose from a record high. U.S. crude settled down 2.4 percent, at $48.84 a barrel, having reached a high of $51.14 earlier in the session. Brent crude futures were last down about $3 to $54.80 a barrel.
U.S. crude inventories rose 4.868 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected U.S. crude inventories to rise 3.7 million barrels last week, adding to record highs of above 413 million in the week ended Jan. 30.
The American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday crude stocks increased by 1.6 million barrels last week. Stocks are already at a record, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), which issues its latest report on Wednesday.