The price of crude oil approached just below $99 a barrel on Wednesday in Asia due to investor’s reaction to a surge in US oil supply inventories combined with slower than hoped-for economic growth.
The price of benchmark crude, to be delivered in March, climbed by 15 cents to $98.63 per barrel in Singapore in the late afternoon, just in time to make the electronic trading deadline on the New York Mercantile Exchange. By the end of the trading day the contract’s price fell by 30 cents to rest at $98.48 on Tuesday.
Brent crude also rose by 19 cents per barrel, to settle at $111.17 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, crude inventories went up by 2.1 million barrels last week. In a survey conducted by Platts, the energy information section of McGraw-Hill Companies, of analysts’ predictions, they found that there had been a prediction of an increase in the inventories of 3.0 million barrels.
"U.S. economic releases tilted toward the bearish side, and that these figures followed last Friday's negative GDP guidance conjured up images of some disappointing employment data," energy consultant Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report. "A difficult, choppy trading environment could be sustained well into February."