Oil prices fell for the second session on Thursday, under pressure from an unexpected increase in US crude stocks, which raised concerns about demand after prices rose to their highest levels in many years.
And US crude fell 0.67%, or 52 cents, to $ 76.91 a barrel, after the market rose yesterday to $ 79.78, the highest since November 2014, and Brent crude lost 0.1%, or 8 cents, to $ 81 a barrel.
“Commercial crude stocks rose last week, according to EIA data, and gasoline stocks also increased, raising fears of weak demand,” ANZ said in a note.
The US Energy Information Administration said that crude stocks in the United States rose last week by 2.3 million barrels, compared to expectations for a modest decline of 418,000, and gasoline stocks also rose, while distillate stocks fell slightly.
This year, global oil prices have jumped more than 50%, adding to inflationary pressures that may slow the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and affect customer demand.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC +) said last Monday that they would stick to their agreement to gradually increase oil production, which led to a rise in crude prices to their highest levels in years.
Sources close to the group said that the OPEC + decision to increase oil production moderately and gradually, despite the rise in prices this year, is partly due to fears that demand will decline and prices will fall.