Oil drops on sudden U.S. crude stocks build, Trump threat to coronavirus aid
Oil prices slid in early trade on Wednesday after U.S. crude oil inventories rose, contrary to expectations. U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to not sign a long-expected coronavirus stimulus aid, unnerving markets.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 1%, or 46 cents, at $46.56 per barrel. Brent crude futures fell 0.9%, or 46 cents, at $49.62 per barrel.
Both benchmarks fell almost 2% on a second straight day. Brent stood just above $50 in the previous session.
The American Petroleum Institute reported that crude stocks climbed by 2.7 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 18, contrary to analysts’ expectations for a 3.2 million-barrel drawdown.
Distillate stocks, including diesel, heating oil, and jet fuel, climbed by 1 million barrels, also contrary to expectations for a 904,000-barrel decline.
However, gasoline stocks dropped by 224,000 barrels, against anticipations for a 1.2-million-barrel build.