Oil Prices Down for 4th Day

Oil Prices Down for 4th DayOil Prices Down for 4th Day

Oil prices fell for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, hitting five-week lows, as jittery investors awaited US government data on crude stockpiles after a stunning build reported by a trade group that underlined the market’s oversupply.

The American Petroleum Institute said after Tuesday’s market settlement that crude stockpiles rose by 9.3 million barrels in the week to Oct. 28, more than nine times the amount expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

Brent was down 75 cents, or 1.5%, at $47.39. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell by 80 cents, or 1.8%, to $45.98. Both benchmarks were at their lowest since Sept. 28.

“The API’s crude build of more than 9 million barrels that appeared long overdue from our vantage point is adding to a list of bearish items,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Chicago-based oil markets consultancy Ritterbusch & Associates.

Crude prices have swung in recent weeks, with Brent hitting one-year highs of $53.73 and WTI 15-month peaks of $51.93 on OPEC plans to cut output before retreating, as some members of the producer group resisted the move.

OPEC output likely reached another record high in October at 33.82 million barrels per day from a revised 33.69 million bpd in September, a Reuters survey on Monday showed, ahead of the Nov. 30 meeting where the group hopes to finalize cuts.

Nigeria’s oil minister said on Tuesday the largest African producer within OPEC had seen its output recover to 2.1 million bpd.

Libya, another key OPEC member, has doubled its output since mid-September and is currently producing about 590,000 bpd.

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