Oil prices decline on concerns over recession and inventories

Oil prices decline on concerns over recession and inventories

Oil prices fell on this morning, adding to sharp overnight losses as U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose, fears of recession mounted and economic data out of China and Europe disappointed.

Brent crude was down 37 cents (0.6%) at $59.11 a barrel by 0300 GMT, after falling 3% in the last session.

WTI was down 25 cents (0.5%) at $54.98 a barrel, having dropped 3.3% in the previous session.

The combination of a slew of data suggesting a slowdown in global growth amid the U.S.-China trade war and persistently high levels of oil in U.S. storage has punctured recent optimism in crude markets, but stoked expectations that leading producers may take further steps to support prices, Reuters reported.

A second week of unexpected builds in U.S. crude inventories is adding to the pressure on oil prices.

U.S. crude stocks grew by 1.6 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels, as refineries cut output, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report.

At 440.5 million barrels, inventories were about 3% above the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA added.

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