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Crude Oil Prices Close Sharply Lower On Unexpected Increase Inventories

Crude oil prices showed a steep drop during trading on Wednesday, extending the sharp pullback seen over the two previous sessions.

After plummeting by 4.6 percent earlier this week, the price of crude oil for September delivery plunged $2.41 or 3.4 percent to $68.15 a barrel.

The continued decrease by the price of crude oil came after the Energy Information Administration released a report unexpectedly showing an increase in crude oil inventories in the week ended July 30th.

The report showed crude oil inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels, while economists had expected inventories to decrease by 3.1 million barrels.

The EIA said distillate fuel inventories also edged up by 0.8 million barrels, although gasoline inventories tumbled by 5.3 million barrels.

Concerns about the outlook for global demand may also have weighed on oil prices amid the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

Adding to recent concerns about the pace of U.S. economic growth, payroll processor ADP released a report showing private sector employment increased by much less than expected in the month of July.

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