Oil falls as U.S. fuel stock build signals easing demand

The perception that the higher fuel stocks pointed to weak demand outweighed a drop in crude inventories by 5.5-million barrels to 451.8-million barrels, traders said.

China is the second-largest economy in the world behind the United States and data published late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute on gasoline inventories suggested "no one traveled on Thanksgiving", Flynn said.

But more notably, the API had yesterday reported a staggering 9.196-million-barrel build in gasoline inventories-when analysts had expected a small build of just 1.145 million barrels. The EIA will release its crude oil inventory report today (December 6, 2017).

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Domestic US oil output ran at 9.707m b/d, up by 25,000 b/d from the prior week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled down $1.66, or 2.9 per cent, to $55.96 a barrel. That line reopened on November 28, so this report captures a period where the line was still largely closed. In Part 2 of this series, we'll discuss OPEC's crude oil production. The agreement will be revisited ahead of the June OPEC meeting and non-OPEC participants in the production agreement may decide to bail at that time.

Oil declined after industry data showed USA gasoline stockpiles expanded for the first time in four weeks. Oil prices are near a 30-month high. But if prices top their hedged positions, that could push USA producers into more drilling.

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USA crude oil tumbled 2.9%, its biggest daily decline in more than two months, to settle at $55.96/bbl amid a big jump in US inventories of refined fuel while USA crude production hit another weekly record. At 448.1 million barrels, crude stocks, not including the strategic petroleum reserve, were at their lowest since October 2015.

In parallel, oil imports declined by 127,000 barrels a day from the week before to an average rate of 7.2m b/d. Exports of refined products fell by 875,000 barrels a day last week to 5.04 million barrels a day.

Oil prices came under pressure Tuesday when the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development said inflation moved lower for the world's major industrialized economies. Both WTI and Brent crude benchmarks continued to fall in after-hours trading yesterday, settling at $57.36 and $62.60 respectively around 9:00pm EST.

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The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEARCA: OIH) traded down about 1.3%, at $24.66 in a 52-week range of $21.70 to $36.35.

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