Big Gasoline Build Offset Crude Drawdown

Oil prices fell on Wednesday as a surprise drawdown in crude inventories was offset by a sharp buildup in gasoline supply.

Brent crude futures were down $1.28 at $61.55 U.S. a barrel approaching noon ET Wednesday, after reaching a session high of $62.93 U.S., while U.S. crude futures dropped $1.33, or 2.2%, to $56.33 U.S.

Information released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 5.6 million barrels last week. The EIA also said, however, that gasoline inventories rose by 6.78 million barrels.

With global equities under pressure from sliding technology stocks, and the U.S. bond market suggesting investors are cautious about the economic outlook, industrial commodities such as crude and copper are feeling the pinch.

Supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers that were extended at a meeting last week for the rest of 2018 have helped lift Brent prices by more than 40% since June.

But the price has slipped from November's peak at around $65 U.S. a barrel, the highest since mid-2015.

Another factor weighing on prices has been a rise in U.S. oil production, which has climbed by 15% since mid-2016 to 9.68 million barrels per day, close to levels of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.