Oil Prices Slide Down After US Stockpile Estimates

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Crude oil prices fell in Asia on Wednesday as investors turned to bearish U.S. industry stockpile estimates while keeping a sharp eye on Middle East tensions.

The American Petroleum Institute reported a 2.6 million build in U.S. crude stockpiles last week, far outpacing the 200,000 barrel decline seen. Separately, a more closely-watched government report on Wednesday could show that crude inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels for the week ending on Nov. 20.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for January delivery fell 0.61% to $42.64 a barrel.

Overnight, crude futures surged more than 2% amid intensifying global political discord, after Turkey downed a Russia fighter jet on the Syrian border on Tuesday morning.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for January delivery wavered between $44.93 and $46.49 a barrel before settling at $46.16, up 1.33 or 3.00% on the day. With the considerable gains, North Sea Brent futures moved above $46 a barrel for the first time in nine sessions. Meanwhile, the spread between the international and U.S. domestic benchmarks of crude stood at $3.24, above Monday’s level of $3.08 at the close of trading.

NATO called an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon after a Turkish F-16 jet plane shot down a Russian jet along the Turkish province of Hatay. Turkey claimed the jet violated its air space, adding that it issued 10 warnings to Russia in a span of five minutes before firing the shots, Pentagon officials told Fox News. Officials from the Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, claimed the jet remained within the borders of Syrian territory, citing “objective monitoring data.”

Russia president Vladimir Putin warned that the attacks could place a serious dent in Russian-Turkish relations, calling the actions “a shot in the back.”

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