MTECHTIPS;-Crude settles lower as oil prices slump to near 4-month

MTECHTIPS;-Crude settles lower as oil prices slump to near 4-month lows

MTECHTIPS-Crude futures settled lower on Thursday, as investors continued to fret about growing U.S. crude inventories to record levels. Crude futures sustained a fourth straight day of losses amid fears record U.S. crude inventories could offset The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) efforts to re balance supply and demand.Despite OPEC’s high level of compliance with agreed production cuts last November, non-OPEC producers that joined the global deal to reduce output have yet to fully implement production cuts while U.S. crude inventories swelled to record highs. Eleven non-OPEC oil producers that joined a global deal to reduce output to boost prices delivered 64% of promised cuts in February, an industry source said last Friday. Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose to an all-time high of 533.1 million barrels for the week ended March 15, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) said Wednesday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery lost 34 cents to settle at $47.70 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent shed 6 cents to $50.58 a barrel. Crude prices have continued to fall and are on track to end the week close to levels not seen since the OPEC deal on Nov 30. Meanwhile, market participants turn attention to Baker Hughes rig count, due to be released on Friday at 14:00 EDT.

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