[Ferro-Alloys.com] Crude oil futures moved lower during mid-morning trade in Asia Wednesday as a bearish US crude inventory report and a strengthening dollar weighed on prices.
At 10:05 am Singapore time (0205 GMT), ICE October Brent crude futures were down 24 cents/b (0.33%) from Tuesday's settle at $72.22/b, while the NYMEX September light sweet crude contract was 30 cents/b (0.45%) lower at $66.74/b.
US crude inventories rose 3.6 million barrels for the week ended August 10, analysts said, citing American Petroleum Institute data released Tuesday.
Analysts surveyed Monday by S&P Global Platts had been expecting a 1.7 million-barrel draw.
"A surprise build of crude inventory as reported by the API report is at work in weighing on crude prices," said IG market strategist Pan Jingy.
ANZ analysts said in a note: "Crude oil prices remained under pressure as concerns over rising inventories weighed on sentiment."
US gasoline inventories were down 1.56 million barrels in the week, while distillate inventories were up 1.94 million barrels, API said in the report.
Market participants are awaiting the release of more definitive weekly US inventory data by the US Energy Information Administration later Wednesday to confirm the build, analysts said.
"Investor appetite was already waning on the back of a stronger USD," ANZ analysts said in the note.
A stronger US economy and growing global geopolitical and trade tensions have pushed investors towards the dollar as a safe haven asset, analysts said.
A stronger USD makes dollar-denominated commodities like crude oil more expensive to procure.
As of 0205 GMT, the US Dollar Index was up 0.05% at 96.605.
Meanwhile, Libya's crude output has risen above 1 million b/d for the first time since early June, sources close to production said Tuesday.
The increase comes mainly from the Sharara oil field, where output has moved above 250,000 b/d from 218,000 b/d last week, the sources said.
"Reports that Libya's crude oil output has risen to more than 1 million b/d also weighed on sentiment," ANZ analysts said.
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