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Oil down as rising U.S. inventories reawaken supply anxiety

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a rise in crude and fuel stockpiles in the United States revived fears about oversupply and falling fuel demand in the world’s largest crude consumer amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Brent crude futures fell 67 cents, or 1.6%, to $40.51 a barrel by 0636 GMT after gaining nearly 1% on Tuesday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures dropped 80 cents, or 2.1%, to $38.14 a barrel, having risen about 2% in the previous session.

The oil benchmarks rose to their highest in three months on Monday but some analysts think the market has risen too far, too fast as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world with new infections posting daily highs.

U.S. oil stocks climbed 8.4 million barrels in the week to June 5, API data showed, while a Reuters poll of analysts had indicated a draw of 1.7 million barrels.

Distillate fuel stockpiles, including diesel fuel and heating oil, rose by 4.3 million barrels, outpacing expectations for a 3 million barrel increase.

Official government figures on stockpiles from the Energy Information Administration are due later on Wednesday.

While layoffs fell in the U.S. in April, hiring hit a record low indicating it will take many years for a recovery in the labour market in the world’s biggest economy.

Prices have been supported in recent weeks as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, put in place record production cuts that they extended on Saturday.

But Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates said they would not continue further voluntary reductions of 1.18 million barrels per day.

Oil down as rising U.S. inventories reawaken supply anxiety, Reuters, Jun 10

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