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News: Crude oil plunges almost nine per cent

  1. U.S. crude-oil futures marked their first decline in five sessions overnight, plunging by almost 9% to settle below the US$50 mark as the nation’s stockpiles climbed more than expected.

    West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery slid 8.7% to settle at US$48.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

    Oil was trading around US$50.90 before the supply data were released.

    The rout took a bite out of the contract’s nearly 20% rebound that had begun on Thursday on hope that a cut in U.S. production would whittle down crude stockpiles.

    But such hopes were dampened, at least for the short term.

    Today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude stockpiles rose 6.3 million barrels for the week ended January 30. Analysts polled by Platts forecast a climb of 2.8 million barrels.

    American Petroleum Institute data released after the Nymex close yesterday showed weekly inventories rising by 6.1 million barrels.


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