Oil prices have slipped after industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) reported an increase in the US crude stocks.

The increase in crude stocks has renewed concerns over fuel demand.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures edged lower by $0.33, or 0.8%, to settle at $41.39 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down by $0.40, or 1%, to touch at $39.40 a barrel, Reuters reported.

According to API data, crude inventories increased by 691,000 barrels in the week ending 18 September.

Rising cases of Covid-19 infections in countries such as France and Spain have increased concerns over fuel demand.

At least 199,884 Americans are known to have died since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins, which relies on official government data.

Reuters quoted ING Economics as stating: “A resurgence in cases could prove to be a stumbling block for the demand recovery, although any lockdowns moving forward are likely to be more targeted and localised.”

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

Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) said it expects oil output to exceed 250,000bpd by next week.

Eurasia Group said in a note: “This year, world oil demand will be down by more than 10% on the year to around 90 million barrels per day (Mbpd) due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“This will mark the biggest demand shock in industry history.”