Oil prices retreat in Asian trade amid surprising increase in U.S. crude stocks and altered rate cut expectations

Asian trade on Wednesday witnessed a decline in oil prices following a report from a U.S. industry group indicating a more substantial-than-anticipated rise in crude stocks last week. Brent futures experienced a 0.4% drop, down 29 cents to $82.48, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 0.3%, down 22 cents to $77.65 a barrel as of the market opening at 0000 GMT.

The American Petroleum Institute reported a notable surge of 8.52 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories for the week ending Feb. 9, surpassing the 2.6 million barrel increase forecasted by Reuters-analyzed analysts. Although the crude oil build was deemed bearish, analysts from ING noted significant declines in gasoline and distillate stocks, potentially linked to BP’s 435,000 barrels per day Whiting refinery outage. Gasoline inventories saw a substantial 7.23 million barrel decrease, and distillate stocks fell by 4.02 million barrels.


The official U.S. Energy Information Administration data is set to be released on Wednesday at 1530 GMT. Additionally, Tuesday’s data revealing sustained U.S. consumer inflation heightened expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would delay interest rate cuts, prompting a rise in the dollar to a three-month peak. A stronger dollar typically exerts downward pressure on oil demand among buyers transacting in other currencies, contributing to the overall market sentiment.