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Here’s Why Oil Prices Are Falling Back

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading nearly flat on Friday, edging lower shortly after the New York opening as investors attempt to close out a choppy week with a marginal gain.

After surging into a multi-month high at the start of the week on stronger demand expectations, the market is struggling with traders booking profits and moving to the sidelines as higher U.S. crude oil inventories and a strong U.S. Dollar offset recent forecasts calling for supply deficits.

Last week’s rise in U.S. inventories came as production in the Gulf returned close to levels reached before Hurricane Ida struck about a month ago.

Meanwhile, a power crisis and housing market concerns in China, the world’s biggest crude importer and its second-largest consumer behind the United States, is pressuring sentiment and weighing on oil demand. However, late in the week, the market reversed course on reports China was prepared to buy more oil and other energy supplies to help sustain its economic recovery.

Gains Being Capped by Unexpected Rise in US Crude Inventories

The API on Tuesday reported a surprise build in crude oil inventories of 4.127 million barrels for the week ending September 24. Analyst expectations were for a loss of 2.333 million barrels for the week.

The API also reported a build in gasoline inventories of 3.555 million barrels for the same week. Distillate stocks saw an increase in inventories this week of 2.483 million…

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