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Oil down for fifth consecutive day over US stockpiles

LONDON, March 18, 2021 – Oil was down Thursday morning in Asia for the fifth consecutive day in reaction to a sustained build in US crude and fuel inventories. Covid-19 also continues to cloud the fuel demand recovery outlook.

Brent oil futures fell 0.56% to $67.62 by 12:56 AM ET (4:56 AM GMT) and WTI futures were down 0.54% to $64.25.

Wednesday’s US crude oil supply data from the US Energy Information Administration showed a build of 2.396 million barrels for the week to Mar. 5, a fourth straight week of builds. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com had predicted a 2.964-million-barrel build, while a 13.798-million-barrel build was reported during the previous week.


Supply data from the American Petroleum Institute released a day earlier, showed a surprise draw of 1 million barrels, and had raised hopes for a break in the recent string of stockpile builds.

US refineries continue their recovery from February’s unexpected cold snap in Texas and the surrounding areas.

“Even with the continued recovery in refinery activity, US crude stocks rose last week… we suspect that stocks will fall soon as refinery activity rises further and crude production holds steady,” Capital Economics said in a note, which added that refineries are “rapidly coming back online.”

On the Covid-19 front, Germany reported a spike in cases while France and Italy plan to tighten restrictions. Several European countries have also halted the use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN)/University of Oxford due to concerns about potential side effects.

First published in Investing.com

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