Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday after the report of U.S. crude stockpiles increased by more than four times in the first week of 2023, compared to the week prior.
The international benchmark fell $0.55 or 0.69% to $79.55 per barrel. The West Texas Intermediate dropped $0.57 or 0.76% to $74.55 a barrel.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute indicated that U.S. crude stockpile rose to 14.86 million barrels, compared to a forecast for a 2.37 million draw. The increase in stockpile is a result of refiners building their inventories for the new year.
The U.S. government forecast that global petroleum demand will hit a record high in 2023, boosted by growing consumption from India and China. Additionally, demand is also expected to recover as the market predicted the U.S. central bank to slow its pace on hiking rates.