Oil Retreats from 2018 Highs Above $70 a Barrel

Oil fell on Wednesday as investors took profit on a rally the day before to this year’s highs after a report showed a surprisingly large increase in U.S. crude inventories.

June Brent crude futures LCOc2 were last down 27 cents on the day at $69.19 barrel by 1135 GMT, while the May contract LCOc1, which expires on Thursday, was down 16 cents at $69.95. WTI futures CLc1 fell 40 cents to $64.85 a barrel.

Traders said most pressure ensued after the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a surprise 5.3 million barrels rise in crude stocks in the week to March 23, against expectations for a decline of to 430.6 million barrels.

The oil price has risen in seven out of the last 9 months and has increased by more than 4 percent this year, making this the third consecutive quarter of gains, which is the longest stretch since late 2010.

“After it rebounded from its early-week high, profit-taking is likely to have ensued,” Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch said in a note.

“This was exacerbated by an appreciating U.S. dollar and an unexpected 5.3 million barrel rise in US crude oil stocks last week, as reported by the API after the close of trading yesterday.”

Official U.S. inventory data will be published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late on Wednesday.

“From a seasonal perspective, rising crude oil stocks and falling product stocks are what can be expected at this time of year when refinery maintenance reduce demand for oil and the production of products,” Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen said.

read more/source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil/oil-retreats-from-2018-highs-above-70-a-barrel-idUSKBN1H408B

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