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Oil prices slid 4% on Wednesday, approaching six-month lows after U.S. data showed a rise in crude stocks last week.
In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 3.0% at $87.97/bbl, Brent was down 3.3% at $93.63/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 1.4% at $8.15/MMBtu.
U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose by 4.5 million barrels last week as exports fell and refiners lowered runs. Gasoline stocks also posted a surprise build on waning demand.
Crude inventories are rising at the top U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, as the spread shrinks between WTI and Brent futures and U.S. export demand softens.
U.S. gas prices fell for a 50th day on Wednesday, with the national average declining 3 cents to $4.16 a gallon.
OPEC and its allies agreed to modestly raise production by 100,000 bpd in September, an amount equal to about 0.1% of global oil demand.
LNG volumes through the Panama Canal are down 30% since early June, when a fire shut down the U.S.’s second-biggest export facility run by Freeport LNG. Certain operations at the site can resume in October, according to U.S. regulators.
U.S. producer APA Corp saw second-quarter profit nearly triple to $926 million, while the firm bought more than $500 million of property in west Texas to expand its operations in the Permian basin.
U.S. producer Occidental plans to use its soaring earnings to accelerate debt payments and cash distribution to shareholders but will not raise oil production, the firm said.
Brigham Minerals, which owns the rights to extract oil and natural gas from land across numerous U.S. shale basins, is exploring a sale or merger, according to reports.
First-time jobless claims rose by 6,000 last week to 260,000, the highest since November.
Federal Reserve officials are indicating support for a 50-basis-point interest-rate hike when they meet next month, down from the 75-point hikes at the central bank’s last two meetings.
The U.S. service sector unexpectedly picked up in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Meanwhile, a measure of prices paid by businesses dropped by the most since 2017, benefiting from falling commodity prices.
New orders for U.S.-manufactured goods rose 2% in June, while business spending was stronger than initially thought, according to the Commerce Department.
North American construction costs are between 5% and 11% higher than a year ago, impacting home construction and prompting some developers to stall or cancel big projects.
Yum Brands, owner of Taco Bell and KFC, plans to double down on promotional offerings after its earnings missed estimates on rising costs for ingredients, labor and packaging, which pushed overall expenses up 4%.
The New York Times forecast a drop in ad revenue this quarter as brands cut back on spending in the face of an economic slowdown.
South Korea reported over 110,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a three-month high.
The Bank of England raised interest rates by 50 basis points, the biggest hike in over 25 years.
Euro zone retail sales plunged 1.2% in June while factory gate prices continued to rise, according to new data. Euro zone business activity also contracted in July for the first time since early last year.
China’s services activity grew at the fastest rate in 15 months in July despite a dip in foreign demand and more companies cutting staff.
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