Crude oil futures tumbled on Thursday after the Energy Information Administration announced the largest build in U.S. crude stocks in at least 14 years.
U.S. crude settled at $46.31 per barrel, down 3.1 percent on the day, having reached a high of $49.09 earlier in the session. Brent crude futures last traded at $48.50 a barrel, down 44 cents, off a session peak of $50.45.
Crude stocks rose by 10.1 million barrels to a total of 397.9 million, the highest level for this time of year in at least 80 years, the EIA said. The increase was much greater than the 2.6 million barrel build traders predicted in a Reuters poll.
The market was waiting for a catalyst like the EIA report to break out either positive or negative, said Eli Tesfaye, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
"There's no factor right now stabilizing this market," Tesfaye said. "There's definitely a race to the bottom here."