U.S. oil prices extended declines Wednesday after the Energy Department said domestic crude stocks fell far more than analysts' forecasts last week, suggesting weakening global demand from the world's biggest exporter.
The Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stockpiles rose 5.7 million barrels in the week ending October 25, with the total topping 438.8 million barrels. Analysts had been expecting a modest increase after the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that stockpiles fell by 708,000 barrels last week to 436 million.
The EIA also said inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma hug, a key delivery point for U.S. exports and crucial data point for energy traders, rose by 1.57 million barrels to 46.03 million. That essentially mean that the U.S. was a net importer for the weekly measurement period.
U.S. flipped back to being a net-petroleum importer for the week ending 10/25. Net-imports of 773k b/d with four-week average at just 23k b/d #OOTT— Mason Hamilton����⛽️ (@T_Mason_H) October 30, 2019
Oil prices were also pressured by a modestly stronger U.S. dollar, which reversed earlier declines against its global peers following a stronger-than-expected third quarter GDP growth estimate of 1.9%, as well as news that Chile that President Sebastian Pinera is cancelling his nation's plans to host the regional APEC summit amid ongoing protests in the capital city of Santiago, a move that could thwart plans by President Donald Trump to sign his 'phase 1' trade agreement with China.
Brent crude contracts for December delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 36 cents lower on the session following the EIA data to trade at $61.23 per barrel, while WTI contracts for the same month were marked 56 cents lower at $54.98 per barrel.
The downside moved was capped, however, by data showing weekly gasoline stocks fell to their lowest levels since November 2017, as domestic demand over the past four week rose 3.6% from the same period last year to 9.55 million barrels per day.