Oil losses are exacerbated by the build-up of US stocks and fear of pandemics

Oil prices extended their losses to a third day on Thursday as a surprising surge in US crude oil stocks and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in India and Japan raised fears that a recovery in demand could be delayed.

Brent crude oil futures fell 37 cents, or 0.57%, to $ 64.95 a barrel by 0904 GMT after falling $ 1.25 on Wednesday. The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell 35 cents, or 0.57%, to $ 61 after losing $ 1.32 the previous day.

Both contracts were at their lowest levels since April 13 and are down about 3% this week.

Crude oil inventories in the US rose unexpectedly higher in the week to April 16, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday, with inventories up 594,000 barrels. Analysts had expected a drop of 3 million barrels, a Reuters survey found. ,

“An unexpected and surge in US stocks fueled concerns about weak demand,” said Rakuten Securities analyst Satoru Yoshida.

“Also hurting market sentiment is the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly again in India and Japan, despite hopes that vaccinations would improve the contagion situation.”

India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, reported 314,835 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours on Thursday, the highest daily increase recorded anywhere. Japan, the world’s No. 4 oil importer, is expected to enact a third state of emergency for Tokyo and three western prefectures, which could take about two weeks, according to media reports. read more

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC +, will hold a largely technical meeting next week in which major policy changes are unlikely, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and OPEC + said sources. . read more

Adding to the bearish sentiment is the progress of talks between Iran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, PVM oil analyst Tamas Varga said. Iranian oil exports could jump and increase crude oil oversupply if an agreement is reached. read more

“It’s the same old story, better oil balance for the second half of the year competes with the current bleak reality,” said Varga.

“Right now the latter is winning, but it’s only a matter of time before this trend reverses.”

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.