WTI crude futures fell below $75 per barrel on Wednesday

WTI crude futures fell below $75 per barrel on Wednesday, snapping a four-day advance after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed that US crude inventories jumped by a hefty 14.9 million barrels last week, defying expectations for a 2.4 million barrel drop. If confirmed by official data from the Energy Information Agency later on Wednesday, that would be the biggest increase since February 2021. Investors also fretted about tightening financial conditions that could tip the global economy into recession, hurting energy demand. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said US rates may have to move higher than 5%, echoing remarks from Federal Reserve officials who emphasized the need to hike rates further in order to bring inflation within target. Meanwhile, an improving demand outlook in China continued to buoy oil prices, as the world’s top crude importer quickly dismantled strict Covid restrictions and made surprise policy U-turns in quest for growth.

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