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Oil slips for sixth consecutive day on big builds in U.S. oil, fuel stocks

Working oil pumps against a sunset sky.

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Oil prices extended losses slightly from the previous session in early Asian trading on Wednesday after an industry report showed builds in U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles, adding to concerns around demand growth.

Brent crude futures fell 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $77.38 a barrel by 0005 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $73.07 a barrel.

Both contracts fell nearly a dollar in Tuesday’s session and around $3 a barrel on Monday, under pressure after the OPEC+ group detailed plans to increase supply from October onwards despite recent signs of weakening demand growth.

U.S. crude oil, gasoline and distillate stocks rose last week, according to sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures. Rising inventories are typically a sign of supplies exceeding demand. 

API figures showed crude stocks rose by more than 4 million barrels in the week ended May 31, against analysts’ forecasts for a 2.3 million-barrel decline in a Reuters poll.

“We had penciled in a 1-2 mmbbls (million barrels) draw from US commercial crude oil inventories for last week, so the 4.1 mmbbls build posted by the American Petroleum Institute represents a clear bearish surprise,” independent energy analyst Tim Evans wrote.

Gasoline stocks also rose more than 4 million barrels, which was a much bigger build than the 2 million-barrel increase analysts had expected.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will publish official stockpiles data on Wednesday at 1430 GMT.

Rising U.S. stocks could weigh heavily on investor sentiment around oil demand. Data for last week reflects fuel usage around the Memorial Day holiday, closely watched as it marks the start of U.S. driving season.

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