Oil prices dropped on Thursday (May 23), extending falls from the previous session amid surging U.S. crude inventories as low refinery runs and ongoing trade tensions weighed on the demand outlook.
Reuters reported that world shares made it four days in the red in the last five as concerns grew the China-U.S. trade conflict was fast turning into a technology cold war between the world’s two largest economies.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.77 per barrel at 1016 GMT, down $1.22 from their last close. Brent is set for its biggest weekly fall in six months and WTI in 15 weeks.
Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch pointed to “general market sentiment and a broad sell-off in commodities, whilst gold is up. Typical risk-off pattern.”
U.S. crude oil inventories rose last week, hitting their highest levels since July 2017, the government’s Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Industry data had also shown a surge in U.S. crude stockpiles.
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