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Oil prices hit three-month low as US stockpiles mount
[NEW YORK] Oil prices retreated to the lowest level in three months on Wednesday after US data showed an unexpected increase in commercial stockpiles of oil and gasoline.
With the latest increases, commercial oil inventories now stand 13.4 per cent above year-ago levels, while gasoline stocks are 11.8 per cent higher, according to US Department of Energy data.
"Oil is down on the back of very disappointing inventories statistics," said energy consultant Andy Lipow.
"The market is very concerned we're going to go through the summer with high gasoline inventories and that's going to continue to weigh on the market." US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery shed US$1.00 to US$41.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest closing price since April.
Brent North Sea oil for September delivery shed US$1.40 to US$43.47 a barrel in London, also the lowest since April.
After topping US$50 a barrel early last month on the back of output disruptions, crude prices have tumbled about 15 per cent as crude and gasoline inventories have mounted in the past two months and gasoline consumption has been lower than some expected.
Wednesday's data also showed higher supplies at the closely-watched Cushing, Oklahoma oil-trading hub and lower refinery utilisation.
"Oil prices were trying to muster a recovery today before another underwhelming weekly inventory report has extinguished the bullish mood," said Matt Smith of ClipperData.