Oil prices fell for a third day in a row to a two-week low on Wednesday on a surprise build in US crude stockpiles, negative US economic reports and worries the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant will weigh on global energy demand.

Traders noted the oil price drop came despite reports of increased Mideast geopolitical tensions. Brent crude futures fell $2.01, or 2.8%, to $70.40 a barrel by 1702 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell $2.49, or 3.5%, to $68.07. That puts both benchmarks on track for their lowest close since July 20.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude stockpiles rose by an unexpected 3.6 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories fell by a bigger-than-forecast 5.3 million barrels.

“Crude prices remained heavy after the EIA crude oil inventory showed stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, noting “the report was mixed as gasoline stockpiles fell more than expected.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2021.

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