LONDON: Oil prices fell Wednesday as market focus turned to energy inventory data due out of the United States, the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation, as well as the Fed’s latest meeting.
After almost doubling from February to touch multi-month highs last week above $50 a barrel, oil prices have come under heavy selling pressure this week in the wake of sharp falls for equities triggered by worries about the global economic outlook and Britain’s EU future.
Around 1200 GMT, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August was down 80 cents at $49.03 a barrel.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery lost 51 cents to $47.98 a barrel compared with Tuesday’s close.
The week’s selling pressure built up Tuesday when the International Energy Agency said that while it expects global crude demand to grow this year and next, huge inventories would cap future price gains.
Data Tuesday from the private American Petroleum Institute showed US crude inventories rose 1.2 million barrels last week, confounding forecasts of a fall.
Traders are awaiting the release of official US stockpiles figures later Wednesday for further indications of the state of crude demand in the world’s biggest economy.
Traders are awaiting also Wednesday’s outcome of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, which has the potential to move the oil market, especially if there is strong movement in the dollar — the currency used to price crude.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder