WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Crude oil prices plunged sharply on Wednesday after data from Energy Information Administration showed a sharp jump in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.
Prospects of a likely fall in energy demand due to the impact of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war on the global economy weighed on oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June suffered their biggest single session fall in three weeks, settling with a loss of $1.71, or 2.7%, at $61.42 a barrel.
According to the data released by EIA, crude inventories in the U.S. rose as much as 4.7 million barrels last week, as against expectations for a drop of about 600,000 barrels.
A week earlier, crude inventories had increased by 5.4 million barrels.
The EIA data said gasoline stockpiles increased by 3.7 million barrels last week, while distillate fuel inventories were up by 800,000 barrels.
Data released by the American Petroleum Institute late on Tuesday showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 2.4 million barrels for the week ended May 17, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 599,000 barrels.
The report also showed a stockpile increase of 350,000 barrels in gasoline, while distillate supplies fell by 237,000 million barrels.
Recently, Saudi Arabia said it would maintain its output cuts through the end of the year even as Russia said that it would take a call on producing less or more, based on market conditions.
Traders also weighed the recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) that said the agency has revised down its global growth forecast for the year, saying there are very serious risks on the horizon.
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