01.04.202010:25:00UTC+00Oil Prices Fall As Oversupply Fears Mount

Oil prices fell on Wednesday amid heightened oversupply fears as the price war and coronavirus pandemic raged on.

Benchmark Brent crude plunged 5.1 percent to $25.00 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 0.9 percent at $20.30 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia on Monday said it would increase exports further to a record 10.6 million barrels per day from May, deepening a global supply glut and showing no sign of bowing to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to dial back the oil-price war with Russia.

Russia said it doesn't plan to increase crude production, but isn't yet holding talks with Saudi Arabia on the situation.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 10.5 million barrels for the week ended March 27, far exceeding forecasts for a 4-million-barrel build-up, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported late Tuesday.

The API data also showed an increase in gasoline stockpiles by 6.1 million barrels, while distillate inventories declined by nearly 4.5 million barrels.

Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released later in the day.

Meanwhile, rising numbers of coronavirus cases deepened the gloom over the likely impact on the world economy.

The U.S. recorded a big daily jump of 26,000 new cases, bringing the total to more than 189,000. The death toll there leaped to over 4,000, with officials predicting the disease could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II, threatening a lengthy global recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past.

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