TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Friday for the second day in a row amid a sudden surge in US inventories as the coronavirus pandemic continues to erode fuel demand.
Futures for Brent crude oil fell 0.3% to $ 39.94 per barrel by 09:33 Moscow time, for WTI – dropped 0.13% to $ 37.25 per barrel.
Both benchmarks sank about 6.5% over the week and may show a second week of decline as hopes for a sustained recovery in fuel demand are weakened by signs of a second wave of coronavirus.
US oil inventories rose 2 million barrels in the week ended September 4 to 500.4 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday, contrary to analysts' expectations of a 1.3 million barrels drop.
“As US oil production continues to recover from Hurricane Laura, the numbers show refineries have further lowered their financial forecasts over the past week,” said a note to ING Economics clients.
In another bearish sign, traders have again begun booking oil and diesel storage tankers.
(Aaron Sheldrick, translated by Elizaveta Zhuravleva. Editor Anna Kozlova)