Oil prices fell by almost 2 per cent on Wednesday as market participants digested the latest weekly stocks report from the US Energy Information Administration.

Although gasoline and distillate stocks fell last week this was countered by an increase in commercial crude stocks, which rose 1.06m barrels to 523.6m barrels, reports Neil Hume in London.

Traders said that a closer inspection of the report showed stocks had risen both on the Gulf Coast, the hub of the US refining industry, and at Cushing, the delivery point for US crude futures. The only area that showed a significant draw was the west coast, a region considered of less importance.

West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, fell as much as 90 cents – or 2.1 per cent to $41.88 a barrel, while global oil marker Brent was down 80 cents – or 1.9 per cent – to $44.16.

Adding to the bearish tone was the latest monthly oil market report from Opec. This showed that Saudi Arabia’s oil production had risen to a record level in July and that the cartel expects market to be oversupplied by 100,000 barrels a day on average in 2017. Last month, the oil producing cartel forecast a small deficit for next year.

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