Oil prices fall after U.S. inventory reading shows surprise spike

Oil futures pulled back further on Wednesday following the American Petroleum Institutes release of an estimate showing a surprise build in U.S. weekly crude inventories.

January West Texas Intermediate crude
CLF8, -0.38%
fell 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $57.81 a barrel, while January Brent
LCOF8, -0.49%
, the front-month contract which expires at Thursdays settlement, dropped 25 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.36 a barrel.

Both contracts fell for a second session on Tuesday amid uncertainty over the outcome of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countriess meeting with other major oil producers on Thursday.

Oil prices came under pressure late in that session after the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude supplies climbed by 1.8 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 24, according to sources. The API data showed a fall of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline stockpiles, while inventories of distillates climbed by 2.7 million barrels, sources said.

Prices could drop further if the APIs reading is confirmed by government figures on Wednesday. But analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the Energy Information Administration to report a decline of 3 million barrels for crude inventories, a rise of 1.1 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 160,000 barrels for distillate supplies.

Iinvestors are also focusing on Thursdays OPEC meeting of major oil producers, whose ongoing production-cap agreement is expected to be extended deeper into 2018. Most analysts see the deal as running throughout next year.

Read: This is the big question for oil traders as OPEC prepares to meet Thursday

Within other energy contracts, December gasoline
RBZ7, -0.94%
lost around 0.7% to $1.7589 a gallon and December heating oil
HOZ7, -0.34%
dropped 0.3% to $1.944 a gallon.

Myra P. Saefong contributed to this article

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