Oil ends down 2 percent on technicals, U.S. stockpile worry

Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:21pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil settled 2 percent lower on Tuesday as the market yielded to technical pressure and worries that U.S. crude stockpiles were still growing amid falling output and refinery maintenance.

Uncertainty over how the U.S. Federal Reserve will word its policy statement on Wednesday also fed jitters in financial markets and pushed oil down for a second day in a row.

Crude prices pared losses in post-settlement trade after preliminary inventory data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 1.5 million barrels last week, less than half the 3.4 million barrel build forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. [API/S]

The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue official inventory data on Wednesday.

Brent LCOc1 settled down 79 cents at $38.74 a barrel, a 2 percent drop similar to Monday's.

U.S. crude CLc1 finished down 84 cents, or 2.3 percent, at $36.34. In the previous session, it fell 3 percent.

After the API data, both Brent and U.S. crude retraced some losses and were about 1 percent down.

Crude had rallied about 50 percent over the past six weeks as major oil producers spoke of plans to freeze output at January levels. The talk boosted a market that had sunk to 12-year lows on a supply glut.   Continued...

A worker grabs a nozzle at a petrol station in Tehran, Iran January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA