Oil prices have decreased following an increase in US crude inventories and due to rising concerns on slowing economic growth globally that may restrict fuel demand.

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 slipped 0.4% and were at $60.90 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were 18 cents lower at $52.44 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Frame Funds Sydney portfolio manager Hue Frame told the news agency: “The crude market is now focusing on global growth concerns primarily. It looks to be viewing inventory readings as secondary.”

Due to weakness in Europe and some emerging markets, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its world economic growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 earlier this week.

“Production levels in the US approached 12 million barrels per day, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

Meanwhile, leaders and top executives worldwide are set to meet at Davos World Economic Forum summit in Switzerland for discussion on various topics such as slowing economic growth, damaging trade wars and Brexit.

A report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) highlighted an increase in US crude inventories by 6.6 million barrels in the week ending 18 January to 443.6 million barrels after refineries cut output, leading to a drop in oil prices.

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This is against analyst expectations for a decrease of 42,000 barrels, the API said.

Production levels in the US approached 12 million barrels per day, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In order to support oil prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-OPEC members, including Russia have reduced output since 2017.