Oil Prices Drop on Another Unexpected Build in US Crude Stockpiles

Oil prices plunged on Thursday as industry data revealed a huge surprise increase in US crude stocks for the second week in a row, raising fears of a dip in fuel demand.

At 10:11 AM (Thai time), U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 90 cents, or 1.13%, to $78.57 a barrel, while Brent crude futures fell 80 cents, or 0.94%, to $84.18 a barrel, extending losses of around 1% from Wednesday.

In spite of statistics showing retail sales fell more than predicted in December, Federal Reserve members warned rates needed to climb beyond 5% to tame inflation, causing the market to weaken on worries of an approaching U.S. economic recession.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles increased by nearly 7.6 million barrels in the week ending January 13, according to statistics from the American Petroleum Institute, casting a further shadow on the market.

Reuters polled nine analysts, who projected that crude inventories declined by 600,000 barrels on average.

This is the second week in a row that inventory has seen a significant increase.