Crude Oil Extends Decline as US Inventories Swell

Crude oil extended its decline today as US inventories grew much more than was expected. US stockpiles of crude swelled by 3.8 million barrels to 381.4 million last week. Analysts have expected an increase by just 0.9 million barrels.

Refineries operated at the lowest level in almost a year, trimming demand for oil used in making of fuels. It is a seasonal phenomenon as need for heating oil wanes, but consumption of gasoline does not rise until summer.

US nonfarm payrolls may help the commodity, improving the market sentiment in case they turn out to be good. Yet it is in no way certain as today’s positive employment data did not support oil prices.

April futures for delivery of WTI crude dropped $0.36 (0.40 percent) to $90.46 per barrel as of 19:51 GMT on NYMEX today. Contract for Brent oil slid $0.62 (0.56 percent) to $110.99 per barrels on ICE.

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