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Oil Prices Extend Losses On Fuel Demand Worries

Oil prices fell on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session as recession fears mounted.

Industry data showing an unexpected build in U.S. stockpiles last week and the Biden administration's push for a series of measures to address high gasoline prices also added to the downside momentum.

Benchmark Brent crude futures and WTI crude futures both fell nearly 2 percent to $109.63 per barrel and $104.11, respectively in European trade.

Both benchmarks fell around 3 percent on Wednesday to reach their lowest levels since mid-May on concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to slowing global growth.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday acknowledged that achieving a "soft landing" will be "very challenging" due in part to factors outside of the Fed's control and noted a recession is "certainly a possibility."

Separate surveys showed earlier today that business activity in the bloc's two largest economies, Germany and France, suffered a sharp loss of momentum at the end of the second quarter.

U.S. President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a three-month suspension of the federal gasoline tax to help combat record prices at the pump.

According to the latest data from the American Petroleum Institute, crude oil inventories in the U.S. rose by 5.6 million barrels for the week ended June 17, versus prediction of a draw of 1.433 million barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly oil data is delayed until at least next week due to systems issues.

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