OPEC officials are in crisis mode, planning to advance their March meeting by a month. But that still didn’t help oil prices much on Wednesday as a huge jump in weekly U.S. crude stockpiles suggested an oversupplied market.
New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for U.S. crude, settled down 15 cents, or 0.3%, at $53.33. WTI rebounded by 0.6% just on Tuesday, after a near-four-month low of $52.16 at the start of the week.
Brent, the London-traded global benchmark for crude oil, settled up 30 cents, or 0.5%, at $59.81. Brent gained 0.3% in the previous session, after tumbling to $57.74 on Monday, its lowest level since Oct. 8.
At Wednesday’s settlement, WTI was down almost 13% for January, its biggest slide since May. Brent showed a loss of almost 10%, also heading for its worst performance since May. Oil losses this month have been heightened by the coronavirus, which has killed more than 130 people and infected another 6,000 in China, the world’s biggest buyer of crude.
The Energy Information Administration reported earlier on Wednesday that U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 3.5 million barrels last week, compared with analysts expectations for a build of just about 480,000 barrels. The surge came as refinery runs dropped to just 87% of capacity for the week ended Jan. 24, versus the previous rate of just 90% for the week to Jan. 17.
Source : Investing.com