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Oil Prices Down as EIA Cuts Demand Growth Forecast, API Reports Jump in Stockpiles

Investing.com - Oil prices were down on Wednesday in Asia after the U.S. Energy Information Administration cut its forecasts for 2019 world oil demand growth and the American Petroleum Institute reported a surprise increase in crude stockpiles.

U.S. WTI crude futures were down 1.5% to $52.43 by 12:40AM ET (04:40 GMT). International Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, fell 1.5% to $61.36.

The EIA lowered its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.22 million bpd in a monthly report released on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the API said U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels last week to 482.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 481,000 barrels.

Official weekly data from the EIA is due later in the day.

In other news, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, said on Tuesday at the International Economic Forum of the Americas that Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are close to reaching an agreement on extending production cuts.

OPEC was originally scheduled to meet on June 25 to discuss its output policy for the remaining of the year. However, Russia suggested moving the meeting to July 3-4, Reports reported citing sources within the organization.

“We are working the dates,” al-Mazroui told reporters later on the sidelines of the forum, emphasizing that he did not have a preference for June or July.

“To me it doesn’t matter," he said. "We’re talking about a separation of two weeks. The most important is what we know today and what we know today tells us that we need to extend, in my view.”

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