Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower

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Crude oil prices declined sharply on Wednesday, weighed down by data showing an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, and on worries about outlook for energy demand from Asian countries.

Growing concerns about inflation and fears that central banks might consider tightening their monetary policies weighed as well on oil prices. The potential of Iranian supply returning also weighed.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down by $2.13 or about 3.3% at $63.36 a barrel, the lowest settlement in more than 3 weeks.

Brent crude futures were down $2.16 or 3.1% at $66.55 a barrel a little while ago.

Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased by 1.321 million barrels last week, less than an expected increase of 1.623 million barrels.

Distillate stockpiles were down 2.324 million barrels last week, compared with an expected draw of 386,000 barrels, while gasoline inventories dropped by 1.963 million barrels, much larger than an expected decline of 886,000 barrels.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that crude inventories rose by 620,000 barrels for the week ended May 14.

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

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