Weak U.S. demand sends oil lower

Oil prices fell Wednesday as traders shrugged off an unexpected drop in crude supplies and focused instead on U.S. government data that showed Americans still have little appetite for more petroleum.

NEW YORK — Oil prices fell Wednesday as traders shrugged off an unexpected drop in crude supplies and focused instead on U.S. government data that showed Americans still have little appetite for more petroleum.

Benchmark crude for November delivery lost US$1.31 to settle at $69.57 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude gave up $1.36 to settle at $67.20 on the ICE Futures exchange.

Prices fell immediately after the Energy Information Administration reported that the U.S. oil supply dropped by one million barrels last week.

The drop was unexpected — analysts thought stockpiles would grow by 1.9 million barrels — but investors found little else to like in the report.

Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, said crude demand continues to be unimpressive, noting that the U.S. still has more oil in storage than last year.

American petroleum consumption has cooled so much that Sunoco, Inc. announced Tuesday that it would idle its Eagle Point refinery in Westville, N.J. As part of the decision, Sunoco said it would furlough 400 workers and cut its dividend.

“Most people look at Sunoco and wonder, who else is going to shut down until things improve?” Kloza said.

The EIA report also said that total petroleum supplies grew last week. Gasoline inventories grew by 2.9 million barrels last week and distillate fuel supplies grew by 700,000 barrels.

Analysts expected smaller increases for both.

Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar got stronger compared with other major currencies, and equities markets lost ground in afternoon trading.

Oil, which is traded in U.S. dollars, tends to fall when the dollar gets stronger.

In Canada, the price of gas at the pump averaged 95.2 cents Canadian per litre, down from $1.015 per litre a month ago and $1.197 per litre a this time last year, according to price-watching website GasBuddy.com.

Just Posted

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

NHL stays with status quo as Canada pot legalization looms

As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a… Continue reading

Paul Stanley: Kiss farewell tour could include ex-members

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It won’t be all night, but former members… Continue reading

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President… Continue reading

Canada open to growing trade with China now that USMCA is a done deal: PM

TORONTO — Canada is open to doing more business with China now… Continue reading

Pot shop raids “highly unlikely” on Wednesday: head of police chiefs

VANCOUVER — Police departments across Canada are fully prepared for marijuana legalization… Continue reading

Campers will be able to smoke cannabis at campsites in Canada’s national parks

Parks Canada says visitors should do their research on cannabis before going… Continue reading

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to deny Canadian producers’ ‘competitive advantage’

WASHINGTON — An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that… Continue reading

Most Read