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June 17, 2020

Oil prices fall due to increase in US crude inventories

Oil prices fell due to an increase in the US crude stock and concerns over a second wave of Covid-19.

By Himaja Ganta

Oil prices fell due to an increase in the US crude stock and concerns over a second wave of Covid-19.

Brent crude was down by $0.40 or 1.0% to reach $40.56 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $0. 59 or 1.5%, to touch at $37.79 per barrel, Reuters reported.

Both the benchmarks rose 3% in the earlier session after the industry group International Energy Agency (IEA) increased this year’s oil demand forecast to 91.7 million barrels per day.

Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) highlighted a rise in the US crude oil inventories by 3.9 million barrels to 543.2 million barrels in the week that ended on 12 June.

Meanwhile, gasoline inventories increased by 4.3 million barrels and distillate fuel stocks were up by 919,000 barrels.

Virus resurgence fears also weighed on prices, as global cases of the novel coronavirus have surpassed eight million.

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AxiCorp global markets strategist chief Stephen Innes was quoted by the news agency as saying: “It seems unavoidable there may be small spikes and isolated outbreaks throughout the world. It may take time for the oil market to desensitize, given the nascent recovery’s fragility.”

An OPEC-led monitoring panel is expected to meet on 18 June to discuss and review the group’s commitment to curb oil production in order to support prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including Russia and other producers, together known as OPEC+, have been curbing supply by about 9.7 million bpd since 1 May.

Earlier this month, the group also agreed to extend output cuts until the end of next month.

Meanwhile, investors are awaiting data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) which is due to be released later today.

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