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Oil prices slide 3 pct on record U.S. crude stock build

NEW YORK - Oil prices tumbled 3 percent on Wednesday after a record weekly build in U.S. crude inventories stoked investor worries about a global supply glut, days after analysts estimated higher monthly OPEC crude output. The U.S. Energy Informa...

 

NEW YORK - Oil prices tumbled 3 percent on Wednesday after a record weekly build in U.S. crude inventories stoked investor worries about a global supply glut, days after analysts estimated higher monthly OPEC crude output.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories rose 14.4 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 28, far more than the 1.0 billion barrels analysts had expected. It was the biggest weekly rise in U.S. crude stocks, passing a 2012 record.

"This is very, very, very bearish. Nothing else in the report matters," said James L. Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by $1.40, or 3 percent, to $45.27 a barrel by 11:48 a.m. EDT (1548 GMT). Earlier, it fell below the $45-per barrel support level, sinking to a five-week low of $44.96.

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Brent was down $1.41, or 2.9 percent, at $46.73, after sliding to $46.50, its lowest since Sept. 28.

Oil prices had surged in recent weeks, with Brent hitting one-year highs of $53.73 and WTI 15-month peaks of $51.93 on OPEC plans to cut output. Prices retreated as some members of the producer group resisted the move.

Crude output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries likely reached a record high of 33.82 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, a Reuters survey on Monday showed. The group meets Nov. 30, hoping to finalize output cuts.

"There are lots of longs coming out of the market, liquidating," said Tariq Zahir, who trades long-dated WTI spreads for Tyche Capital Advisors in New York.

"I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of the week or beginning of next week, we'll get to $42 or $41 a barrel, as very few believe OPEC will make cuts that matter."

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