The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery lost 55
cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at 71.46 U.S. dollars a barrel on
the New York Mercantile Exchange. That marked the lowest finish for
front-month contract since Dec. 21, 2021, according to Dow Jones
Brent crude for February delivery dropped 1.02 dollars, or 1.32
percent, to close at 76.15 dollars a barrel on the London ICE
Futures Exchange, also the lowest settlement since last
The slide came as global growth fears gripped markets with
sentiment shifting to a risk-off mode.
Traders continued to digest data on U.S. fuel stockpiles.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday
reported that U.S. total motor gasoline inventories increased by
5.3 million barrels during the week ending Dec. 2, and distillate
fuel inventories jumped by 6.2 million barrels. Analysts polled by
the S&P Global Commodity Insights survey had expected the
report to show increases of 2.9 million barrels for gasoline and
1.9 million barrels for distillates.
According to the EIA, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories
decreased by 5.2 million barrels last week.