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Oil futures fall amid economic and political factors

MCL Futures oil 2024 04 18

WTI crude futures fell below $82 a barrel, marking a four-day decline as concerns over geopolitical tensions and rising U.S. crude stockpiles eased.

EIA data showed U.S. crude inventories rose 2.735 million barrels to their highest level since June, beating market expectations for a 1.6 million barrel increase.

Fading prospects for US interest rate cuts this year and weaker economic data from China in March also weakened the demand outlook.

Meanwhile, the US said it would reimpose oil sanctions on Venezuela in response to President Nicolas Maduro's failure to fulfill campaign commitments.

European Union leaders also discussed new restrictions on Iran following its attack on Israel over the weekend.

Despite tensions in the Middle East and soaring U.S. economic indicators, U.S. oil prices have fallen sharply and are now down about 6.5% from Friday's 2024 highs to levels last seen before the Israeli attack on the Syrian Iranian consulate on April 1 .

Rising US crude inventories, China's poor economic performance for March and a US warning to release more of its strategic petroleum reserves if needed have all curbed oil.

oil up and down since 2020

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