Oil prices declined on Wednesday over an expected rise in US crude oil and gasoline inventories, while investors focus on the meeting of major oil-producing countries scheduled next week.
International benchmark Brent traded at $84.98 a barrel at 0900 GMT for a 0.78% fall, after trade in the previous session ended at $85.65 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $83.84 per barrel at the same time for a 0.95% decrease from $84.65 a barrel at the end of the previous trading session.
Although oil prices continued a bullish streak with Brent yet again testing levels over $86 a barrel, gains were limited after the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced an estimated rise in US crude oil inventories of over 2.3 million barrels, relative to the market expectation of a 1.65 million-barrel increase.
API also estimated an increase in gasoline inventories by 500,000 barrels.
After US crude oil inventories recorded a fall of 400,000 barrels last week against an anticipated 2.2 million-barrel rise, the new projected massive increase in crude and gasoline stocks led to investor caution.
The forecast inventory rise signaled falling crude demand in the US, the world's largest oil consumer, and weighed on oil prices.
Investors are also keeping tabs on the meeting next week of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, also known as OPEC+. However, the market expects the group to preserve its monthly strategy of boosting output by 400,000 barrels per day.
“The energy crunch is still nowhere close to subsiding, so we expect prevailing strength in oil prices in November and December as supply lags demand and as OPEC+ stays on the sidelines,” according to Rystad Energy’s Senior Oil Markets Analyst Louise Dickson.
By Sibel Morrow