US crude supplies increased last week, oil prices fall on concerns that fuel demand may be weakening

American Petroleum Institute has reported a sharp rise of 5.87 mln barrels in crude inventories last week, against market expectations for a drop in supplies. Inventories of gasoline and distillates also rose. Oil prices have fallen in Asia after this report that US crude supplies swelled last week, indicating demand for fuel may be weakening. Benchmark crude for September delivery dipped to US$75.6 in Kuala Lumpur. The contract rose to US$75.7 on the previous day, rebounding from five straight days of losses. Oil rebounded in Asian trade on Tuesday, but trading remained subdued due to concerns over the strength of the global economic recovery and the impact on energy demand. A sharp slowdown in second quarter growth in Japan, the world's third biggest energy-consuming nation, affected market sentiment already worried by weak economic data from the United States. Japan's GDP grew by an annualised 0.4% in the three months to June, down from a revised 4.4% in the previous three months.
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