Oil Down With US Stockpile Build Signaling Low Demand

(MENAFN- AzerNews) Oil prices declined on Wednesday, with data indicating lowerdemand in the US, the world's biggest oil consumer, outweighingsupply concerns from tension in the Middle East, Azernews reports, citing Anadolu Agency.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $89.72 per barrelat 11.13 a.m. local time (0811 GMT), a 0.33% fall from the closingprice of $90.02 per barrel in the previous trading session.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at$85.02 per barrel at the same time, a 0.40% drop from the previoussession that closed at $85.36 per barrel.

Prices declined during early Asian trade following the releaseof data reflecting bearish demand in the US.

The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday announced anestimated increase of 4.09 million barrels in US crude oilinventories, against the market prediction of a draw of 1.6 millionbarrels.

Official statistics from the Energy Information Administration(EIA) will be released later in the day, and if a buildup in crudeand gasoline stockpiles is revealed, prices are expected to fallfurther.

Uncertainty over when the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will startinterest rate cuts continues to influence oil prices.

Analysts expect that the Fed will keep the policy rate unchangedin May, while the probability that the bank will start reducinginterest rates decreased to 15% in June and 42% in July. Theprobability of the Fed's first interest rate cut in September isevaluated at 67%.

Meanwhile, concerns over the spread of the conflict in theMiddle East, home to the majority of the world's oil reserves,hindered price declines.

Israel carried out an air attack on Iran's consulate building inDamascus on April 1. A total of seven people from the IranianRevolutionary Guards Army, including two generals, died in theattack. On April 13, Iran launched an attack on Israel withhundreds of kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicles and ballistic andcruise missiles.

Tension in the Middle East increased on Monday as Israeli Chiefof Staff Herzi Halevi declared that Israel would retaliate againstthe Iranian attack.



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