Oil futures fell sharply Wednesday, leaving the U.S. benchmark with its lowest close in 10 weeks after data showed an unexpected surge in U.S. crude inventories.
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $2.03, or 3%, to settle at $65.01 a barrel, its lowest finish since June 6. The global benchmark, October Brent crude dropped $1.70, or 2.4%, to $70.76 a barrel, the lowest close since April 9.
The Energy Information Administration said crude inventories rose 6.8 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 10. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a fall of 2.4 million barrels. Futures had been nursing losses ahead of the EIA data after the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday said stocks had risen by 3.7 million barrels. Oil stored in Cushing, Okla., the delivery hub for Nymex futures, rose by 1.6 million barrels, the EIA said.