Oil prices were down on Wednesday to end their rally from the previous session as a forecast increase in US crude oil inventories reignited fears of a supply glut on the global oil market.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $44.11 per barrel at 0650 GMT on Wednesday for a 0.47% loss after closing Tuesday at $44.32 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $41.65 a barrel at the same time for a 0.74% decline after ending the previous session at $41.96 per barrel.
On Tuesday, Brent crude gained 2.4% and WTI soared by 2.8% after the US dollar index, which includes the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell to its lowest level since March 9 this year to $95.05.
The steep index decline offered cheap dollar opportunities for oil-importing countries that purchased more crude inventories causing oil price rises.
Prices were further supported in Europe with the decision early Tuesday of European Union (EU) leaders to provide a €750 billion ($858 billion) coronavirus relief fund for EU countries.
However, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced later Tuesday its estimation that US crude oil inventories increased by 7.5 million barrels for the week ending July 17, which renewed fears that the supply glut could last until at least the end of 2020.
On the demand side, the rising number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases throughout the globe dims the outlook for global oil demand, thus dragging down prices.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the world has reached 14.9 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
The US continues to lead with the most cases at 3.9 million, followed by Brazil with more than 2.1 million cases, while India has the third highest with almost 1.2 million cases.
By Ovunc Kutlu