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Oil sinks 2.7% as US crude stockpiles surge, demand worries flare

Oil sinks 2.7% as US crude stockpiles surge, demand worries flare

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.

Oil sinks 2.7% as US crude stockpiles surge, demand worries flare, CNBC, May 23
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