Oil slides as industry report points to rising US inventories

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(Bloomberg) – Oil edged lower as an industry report pointed to rising U.S. crude inventories and investors worried about weaker demand amid slowing growth.

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West Texas Intermediate fell below $85 a barrel in early Asian trading after rising 0.9% on Tuesday. The American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. inventories rose by about 4.5 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the numbers. Government data will follow later on Wednesday, with the breakdown coming amid concerns over commodity supplies, including diesel.

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While crude is on course for its first monthly gain since May as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Moscow, agreed to cut production, prices are still well down from the summit following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Investors are worried about slowing demand as central banks raise interest rates to curb inflation. Additionally, traders are focused on tightening European Union restrictions on Russian flows from December.

To help rein in crude and gasoline prices, the Biden administration released millions of barrels of crude from the country’s strategic reserves. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister criticized major importers for trying to rein in prices by selling off their stocks, while defending the OPEC+ supply cut.

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