Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower

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Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday amid concerns about outlook for energy demand.

Traders were also looking ahead to a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, including Russia. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

The OPEC+ is widely expected to stick with its production curbs for another month to safeguard the recovery in oil prices.

Meanwhile, the cartel has lowered its 2021 oil demand growth forecast by 300,000 barrels per day.

Investors were awaiting details of U.S. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan to be announced in a speech later today in Pittsburgh.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended down $1.39 or about 2.3% at $59.16 a barrel.

Crude futures shed 3.8% in the month, but gained as much as 22% in the January-March quarter.

Data released by EIA this morning showed crude inventories dropped by 876,000 barrels last week, against expectations for a build of 107,000 barrels.

The EIA said gasoline inventories also declined by 1.735 million barrels last week, compared with expectations for a 730,000-barrel build.

According to a report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) late Tuesday, U.S. crude stockpiles increased by 3.9 million barrels in the week ended March 26.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

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