Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday and gasoline futures tumbled, after the U.S. government said crude inventories rose more than expected while gasoline stocks posted a big build instead of the draw that was forecast.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 3 million barrels for the week ending Feb. 23, compared with analyst expectations for a build of 2.1 million barrels.
Gasoline inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels, compared to analyst expectations for a 190,000-barrel drawdown. Gasoline futures fell sharply, leading the rest of the energy complex lower.
"The report was bearish, primarily due to the fairly large crude oil and gasoline inventory builds," said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital LLC in New York.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell to a two-week closing low, ending Wednesday's session down $1.37, or 2.2 percent, at $61.64 a barrel. WTI finished February down nearly 5 percent, snapping a five-month winning streak.