Oil prices slides as U.S. crude stockpile growth heightens oversupply fears

Oil pumping jacks, also known as “nodding donkeys”, operate in an oilfield near Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, Russia, on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil futures dropped on Wednesday, extending losses from the previous day, after U.S. crude stockpiles grew more than expected, adding to worries about oversupply.

Brent crude was down 29 cents, or 0.7%, at $42.34 a barrel by 0335 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 35 cents, or 0.9%, to $40.02 a barrel.

U.S. crude inventories rose by a much bigger than expected 1.7 million barrels last week, according to industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API), well ahead of analysts’ expectations for a 300,000-barrel build.

However, U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories fell, the data showed, feeding optimism that fuel consumption is picking up as some economies ease lockdowns imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. government data will

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Oil markets: U.S.-China relations in focus

An offshore drilling platform stands in shallow waters at the Manifa offshore oilfield, operated by Saudi Aramco, in Manifa, Saudi Arabia.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices were volatile on Tuesday after markets were spooked by surprise comments from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro saying a hard-won U.S-China trade deal was “over”, though he later said his comments had been taken out of context.

Jangled nerves were also soothed to some degree after U.S. President Donald Trump later tweeted that the China trade deal was fully intact, adding he hoped China would continue to live up to the terms of the agreement.

Brent crude fell by 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $43.01 a barrel by 0253 GMT, after earlier skidding to a session low of $42.21. U.S. oil was down 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $40.59 a barrel, having dropped to a low of $39.76.

U.S.-China

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Coronavirus, currencies, oil in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set for a mixed start as investors continued to monitor the situation surrounding a recent uptick in coronavirus cases in some countries.

Futures pointed to a positive open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,455 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,360. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,355.46.

Shares in Australia, on the other hand, were poised to dip. The SPI futures contract was at 5,922, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,936.50.

Investor focus on Friday will likely remain on developments surrounding the resurgence of coronavirus in some places, with four states in the U.S. reporting record spikes in cases.

Meanwhile, a Chinese health expert said Thursday that a recent virus outbreak in Beijing is under control. The Chinese capital saw a jump in infections after more than 50 days without

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It’s a big moment in the history of Big Oil | Business News

There was a fair degree of scepticism four months ago when Bernard Looney, BP’s new chief executive, unveiled plans for the oil major to go net zero carbon by 2050.

Investors were concerned at the lack of detail – something BP promised to flesh out later this year.

Campaigners on climate change, meanwhile, said the company was not going far enough.

Charlie Kronick, oil adviser at Greenpeace UK, said: “How will they reach net zero? Will it be through offsetting? When will they stop wasting billions on drilling for new oil and gas we can’t burn?”

Rachel Kennerley, of Friends of the Earth, added: “The world is burning, and they want to carry on supplying the fuel. Governments must call time on dirty gas, coal and oil, and on those companies wanting to keep the fossil fuel addiction alive and kicking.”

It would appear that Mr Looney is, to an

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