×

US oil plummets to four-week low after grim stockpiles, GDP data

Source: Denver International Airport

Oil tumbled on Wednesday on a strong supply outlook, with stocks in the United States at a new record high and prospects for increased exports from Libya.

U.S. crude stocks rose by 1.7 million barrels to 395 million last week, reaching a fresh peak level since the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) started collecting data in 1982.

While the build was slightly lower than forecast, traders said higher-than-predicted stocks of some oil products helped to maintain the bearish tone. Increasing supplies of crude from the United States and OPEC are expected to keep oil prices weak this year, barring further major geopolitical shocks, a Reuters poll of analysts showed.

Prices were also hit by U.S. data showing the economy barely grew last quarter, amid a frigid winter that sent activity grinding to a near halt. The data stoked fears about demand in the world's largest energy consumer.

Brent crude for June delivery was down $1 under $108 per barrel, after climbing 86 cents to $108.98 in the previous session. June U.S. crude plunged by $1.54 to end at $99.74 per barrel, its lowest close in four weeks. It rose 44 cents to close at $101.28 on Tuesday.

Libya's Zueitina oil port will load its first tanker of crude on May 1-3 after being closed for nearly 10 months due to protests, trading and shipping sources said.

--By Reuters