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Oil prices fall below $80 a barrel

Oil prices

Oil prices fell below $80 a barrel, to remain in a state of a continuous decline trend since Wednesday’s trading.

The decline in oil prices came after data from the US Energy Information Administration showed a larger-than-expected increase in US crude stocks last week.

US West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a third day to $79.98 a barrel by 0326 GMT, down 88 cents, or 1.1%.

Brent crude futures also extended losses for the second session, as contracts for January delivery fell 66 cents, or 0.8%, to $81.33 a barrel.

On Wednesday, the two benchmarks recorded the largest decline percentage since early August, as Brent fall to its lowest level since October 7, and US crude to its lowest level since October 13, after data from the US Energy Information Administration showed a larger-than-expected increase in US crude stocks last week.

“The drop in oil prices last night is partly due to an increase in US inventories,” Vivek Dar, a commodities analyst with the Commonwealth Bank, said.

The US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that US crude oil stocks jumped 3.3 million barrels last week, but gasoline stocks fell to their lowest level since November 2017.

The government agency added in a weekly report that crude stocks rose 3.3 million barrels in the week ending October 29 to 434.1 million barrels, compared to expectations of analysts polled by Reuters for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.

This was the result of an increase of 200,000 barrels per day in the total US oil production, to rise to 11.5 million barrels per day.

The United States released about 1.7 million barrels of strategic petroleum reserves, which also contributed to the rise in commercial stocks.

US gasoline stocks fell 1.5 million barrels over the past week to 214.3 million barrels, their lowest level since November 2017.

Distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 2.2 million barrels to 127.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a decline of 1.4 million barrels.

The net US imports of crude oil fell last week by 220,000 barrels per day to 3.25 million barrels per day.

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