Brent Near 9-Month Low On Oversupply

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Brent crude oil traded near a nine-month low on Thursday as an oversupplied market continued to outweigh geopolitical tension around the globe.

The commodity traded at $104.68 at 8:50 GMT despite a modest drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Reuters reported that the Energy Information Administration released data on Wednesday showing that the nation’s crude inventories had fallen by 1.8 million barrels last week.

However, the drop was not enough to boost crude prices, as it fell short of expectations after the American Petroleum Institute reported a larger drop in its own version of the report on Tuesday.

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Economic data from the U.S. has also lent support, but not enough to counter concern about the rest of the world’s struggling economies.

The eurozone’s economic indicators are worrying, with many believing that the nation is headed for a period of deflation, while Chinese economic data has been mixed, suggesting that the number two oil consumer’s recovery is not yet on steady ground.

Tension between the West and Russia also continued to worsen as Moscow fought back against new, stricter sanctions against the nation’s banking, energy and defense sectors.

On Wednesday, Russian officials announced a ban on all food imports from the U.S. and fruits and vegetables from Europe in response to the tougher sanctions.  

Russian officials have also been threatening to block Western airlines from traveling through the nation’s airspace, something officials say could be more damaging to Russia’s economy than to the West. Nevertheless, the tension has reached all-time highs, and many believe that further escalation could provide some support for crude prices.

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