Oil sinks 2.7% as US crude stockpiles surge, demand worries flare
May 23, 2019 @ 11:51 UTC
Oil futures sank on Wednesday as an unexpected build in U.S. crude stockpiles compounded investor worries that a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing could dent crude demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled $1.71 lower at $61.39, tumbling 2.7 percent to the lowest closing level in more than a week. Brent crude futures fell $1.19, or 1.7%, at $70.99 at barrel.
U.S. crude inventories swelled by 4.7 million barrels in the latest week to their highest since July 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a decrease of 599,000 barrels as refineries cut output.
Gasoline stocks posted a surprise build as well, rising by 3.7 million barrels compared with analysts’ expectations for an 816,000-barrel drop. The prospect of a long-term tariff fight between China and the United States also pressured prices. No further talks between top officials have been scheduled since the last round ended in a stalemate on May 10.