OIL PRICES: $43.72
REUTERS wrote, oil prices fell early on Thursday as a build in U.S. crude inventories and record Saudi Arabian production weighed on markets.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading at $41.34 per barrel at 8.32 p.m. ET, down 37 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last settlement.
International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $43.72 a barrel, down 33 cents, or 0.8 percent.
Oil fell sharply after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude inventories rose 1.1 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 5. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 1.0 million-barrel crude draw instead.
"Crude oil stocks rose 1.06 million barrels to 523.6 million barrels. The unexpected rise was driven by reduced operating rates at refineries, which fell 1.1 percent to 92.2 percent of capacity," ANZ bank said on Thursday.
"Bearish supply-side news also weighed on the market, with Saudi Arabia reporting a record 10.67 million barrels per day production in July," it added.
However, other analysts said that this was not necessarily a bearish market signal as Saudi's record output would be met by strong demand and supply disruptions elsewhere.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.