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Oil Prices Jittery As U.S. Midterm Elections Too Close To Call

Oil prices were lower early on Wednesday in Europe as the United States continues to count votes in the midterm elections, which turned out to be more contested than predicted with both the House and Senate races too close to call as of 3 a.m. ET.   

“Definitely not a Republican wave, that is for darn sure,” South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told NBC News. “A wave would have been like [winning] New Hampshire and Colorado.”

In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, NBC News projects that Democrat John Fetterman won the Senate race, beating Republican TV doctor Mehmet Oz and flipping a seat to the Democrats.

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But NBC News also projects that Republican J.D. Vance defeated Democrat Tim Ryan in Ohio’s Senate race.

The Senate is currently divided 50-50 with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris having the tie-breaker vote. 

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The race for the House was too close to call, too, compared to expectations that the Republicans would not struggle to take control of the House.

Nearly a third of voters named inflation as the single most important issue influencing their decision on how to vote, according to an NBC News Exit Poll. A total of 31% named inflation as the one issue that mattered most in their decision, followed by 27% who said abortion rights were their top issue.

While Senate and House control were still hanging in the balance as of early morning in Europe, Brent Crude prices were slightly down, by 0.02% at $95.33, and WTI Crude prices were trading at $88.78, down by 0.19%. Oil prices paired earlier losses, which were driven by a large crude build of 5.618 million barrels for last week reported late on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The build in crude oil inventories was partially due to the Department of Energy’s release of 3.6 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in the week ending November 4, leaving the SPR with 396.2 million barrels.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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