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Why Did Crude Oil Fall on Thursday, September 1?

Val Kensington - Author
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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 11:29 a.m. ET

Crude oil declined to three-week low levels

After declining for three consecutive trading days, crude oil prices started Thursday, September 1, on a weaker note and fell as the day progressed. At 1:05 PM EDT on Thursday, the WTI crude oil futures contract for October delivery was trading at $43.44 per barrel, a drop of ~2.8%.

The Brent crude futures contract for November delivery was trading at $45.62 per barrel, a decline of ~2.7%. Please read Why Is Crude Oil Trading at 3-Week Low Price Levels? to learn more about the performance of crude oil in Thursday’s early morning hours.

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Build in inventories weighs on prices

The build in the crude oil inventory levels reported by American Petroleum Institute (or API) and the Energy Information Administration (or EIA) over this week dented the sentiment in crude oil prices. This resulted in falling prices for four consecutive trading days to the lowest levels in three weeks.

On Tuesday, August 30, the API Institute reported that crude oil inventories increased by 0.94 million barrels in the week ended August 26.

Following this report, the EIA reported at 10:30 AM EDT on Wednesday, August 31, that the crude oil inventories increased by 2,276,000 barrels in the week ended August 26. The market was expecting a surge in the inventories by 921,000 barrels, and the worse-than-expected data resulted in declining prices. According to the latest reports, the crude oil inventories stood at 525.9 million barrels on August 26, which is historically high for this time of year.

The market awaits the producers and consumers meeting scheduled for September 26–28 in Algeria amid increasing speculations over output freeze talks. At 1:15 PM EDT on Thursday, September 1, major crude oil producers Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO), Total S.A. (TOT), and British Petroleum (BP) fell by ~0.94%, ~0.24%, and ~0.83%, respectively. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) rose by ~0.4%.

The S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production ETF (XOP) and the PowerShares DB Oil ETF (DBO) fell by ~0.56% and ~2.9%, respectively.

The next article details copper’s performance on Thursday, September 1.

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