EghtesadOnline: Oil prices fell for the first time in four days on Wednesday, slipping from as much as five-month highs as mounting coronavirus cases worldwide and in the United States undercut market confidence about a potential pickup in fuel demand.
Brent crude was down 4 cents, or 0.1%, at $44.39 a barrel. It finished 0.6% higher on Wednesday - the highest close since March 6, CNBC reported.
West Texas Intermediate oil was down 8 cents, or 0.2%, at $41.62 a barrel. The contract ended Tuesday trading 1.7% higher, its highest close since late July.
Coronavirus cases continued to rise in the United States, and deaths are at more than a 1,000 a day, while dozens of states have had to pause or scale back plans to reopen their economies.
Still, a big fall in US inventories of crude oil provided a bottom to prices. Crude inventories were down by 8.6 million barrels in the week to Aug. 1 to 520 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a drop of 3 million barrels.
Official figures from the US Department of Energy were due out later on Wednesday. “It would be safe to say that US crude oil inventories are in a firm downward trend,” if the official numbers confirm last week’s drop, ING Economics said in a note.