Oil Falls on Swelling U.S. Crude Stocks, Weak Shares

A surprise domestic inventory build and weakness in stocks are pressuring crude futures lower

Digital Content Group
Jul 22, 2015 at 11:24 AM
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    By Karolin Schaps

    LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday, with U.S. crude for September hitting a contract low, as U.S. government data showed oil inventories unexpectedly rose last week and equity markets suffered from disappointing trading results.

    U.S. crude oil stocks rose by 2.5 million barrels, Energy Information Administration data showed, compared with an expected 2.3-million-barrel drawdown.

    With crude stocks remaining well above their five-year seasonal average, U.S. crude <CLc1> for delivery in September slipped $1.19 to a contract low of $49.67 a barrel. It was trading at $50, down 86 cents, at 1450 GMT.

    "The crude oil inventory rise was driven by a strong rebound in crude oil imports, which neared 8 million barrels per day," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

    Brent crude <LCOc1> was trading 64 cents lower at $56.40 a barrel.

    A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

    Disappointing financial results from technology giant Apple resulted in weak early trading in the U.S. stock market, weighing down crude prices that were already edging lower after early signs U.S. crude stocks had risen.

    A global oil glut and subsequent price drop have thus far left OPEC members cold.

    Delegates from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) indicated this week they expected the price drop to be short-lived and that they would not defer from a strategy of keeping output high to maintain market share.

    Pressure has been rising on OPEC states to adjust production in the face of a rise in Iranian exports once Western sanctions are loosened. A sharp fall in the Chinese stock market and fallout from the Greek debt crisis have also added to concerns about demand being strong enough to absorb high supply.

    The global supply glut is also taking its toll on the products market. China's exports of diesel in August are expected to reach their highest since at least 1999 as the domestic market cannot absorb high output from refineries, sources said.

    OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has also been stepping up exports of diesel.


    (Additional reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Singapore and Robert Gibbons in New York; editing by Dale Hudson and Jason Neely)


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