Oil Futures Close Sharply Lower As Stockpiles Rise

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday after data showed an unexpected surge in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 29th.

The dollar's strength after hawkish comments from a few Fed officials also weighed on oil prices.

Traders also noted the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, collectively called OPEC+, on output level.

The world's oil-exporting countries today agreed to a tiny increase in output next month amid fears that a global recession will crimp demand.

OPEC+ said today that it would produce an additional 100,000 barrels a day in September.

West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for September ended lower by $3.76 or about 4% at $90.66 a barrel.

Brent crude futures settled lower by $3.14 or about 3.1% at $97.40 a barrel today.

Data released by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. rose by 4.5 million barrels last week versus expectations for a draw of 630,000 barrels.

Gasoline stockpiles increased by 163,000 barrels last week, as against expectations for a drop of 1.61 million barrels.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday showed that U.S. crude stocks rose by about 2.2 million barrels for the week ended July 29, compared to analysts' expectations for a decline of around 600,000 barrels.

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