April West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are set to close about 4 percent lower this week, its first weekly loss since the week-ending February 9. Most of the downside pressure this week can be attributed to a rise in U.S. crude oil stocks even as refineries hiked output. Additional pressure came from the U.S. Dollar’s surge to a six-week high against a basket of currencies and uncertainty over a major decision announced by President Trump regarding tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.
U.S. WTI crude oil futures tumbled on February 26 after crude and gasoline inventories in the United States rose unexpectedly. A stronger U.S. Dollar and a late session sell-off in U.S. equity markets also weighed on prices.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. crude inventories rose by 3 million barrels last week, versus analyst expectations for a build of 2.1 million barrels. Gasoline stocks also rose by 2.5 million barrels against expectations for 190,000-barrel drop. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 709,000-barrel drop.
In other news, U.S. oil production surged to an all-time high in November, topping the previous record set nearly half a century ago, government data showed on Wednesday.
In its monthly report, the EIA said that U.S. drillers pumped 10.057 million barrels a day in November. The previous record of 10.044…