Crude oil prices fell further Thursday after sharp losses in the day-earlier session, as the market shifted its focus towards rising U.S. crude stocks and away from fears of an imminent escalation of conflict between the U.S. and Iran, Kallanish Energy reports.
Prices were retreating towards where they stood before the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, prompting an Iranian rocket attack on Iraqi airbases hosting U.S. forces.
These events had pushed crude to its highest in four months. After a 4.1% fall Wednesday, Brent crude futures were down 39 cents at $65.05 a barrel at 1447 GMT, with the downward move accelerating once U.S. markets woke up. West Texas Intermediate was down 37 cents, at $59.24/Bbl, after sliding nearly 5% the previous day.
During European trading hours Iranian media carried reports of military commanders speaking of further action aimed at expelling U.S. troops from the region.
U.S. President Trump had eased tensions by stepping back from further military action, depressing oil prices and diverting attention back to a surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.
Crude oil stocks were up 1.2 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 3 at 431.1 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a drop of 3.6 million barrels.
JPMorgan analysts maintained their forecast for Brent to average $64.50 a barrel this year, Reuters reported.
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