Oil falls as demand worries dwarf U.S. stocks draw
Oil prices slid on Wednesday on worries that U.S. fuel demand may not improve as fast as expected. This came amid a deadlock in a new U.S. coronavirus fiscal aid, dwarfing a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories.
Brent crude futures fell 0.7%, or 33 cents, at $45.13 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 0.5%, or 21 cents, $42.68 per barrel.
Investors are awaiting OPEC’s ministerial meeting later in the day, which is expected to assess producers’ compliance with the agreed output cuts. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he postponed trade talks with China.
U.S. crude stocks dropped by 4.3 million barrels to 512 million barrels, bigger than analysts’ expectations for a 2.7 million-barrel fall. Gasoline stocks also rose, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
According to OPEC+ sources, compliance with the agreed cuts was seen at 95-97% in July. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is also set to join the video meeting.