Oil slides as rise in stockpiles hint at bumpy demand recovery
Oil futures fell in early Thursday trade on worries about fuel demand after U.S. crude inventories climbed last week against analysts’ expectations and coronavirus cases continued to spike globally.
Brent crude futures fell 0.3%, or 14 cents, at $40.65 per barrel following a 2.5% gain on Wednesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 0.5%, or 20 cents, at $37.85 per barrel after rising 3.5% on Wednesday.
As COVID-19 cases rose in several U.S. states, crude inventories rose by 3 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 4, higher than analysts’ expectations for a 1.4 million-barrel drawdown.
Leading commodity traders are hiring tankers to store crude oil and diesel as supply outstrips consumption.
The rise in stockpiles came ahead of a Sept. 17 meeting of OPEC’s market monitoring panel, which will assess the need for further supply cuts for the next months.