Oil prices slide on larger than expected surge in US stockpiles

Oil prices have slipped for the sixth consecutive session. New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, slumped by almost two dollars to an eight week low of US$70.6, while Brent North Sea crude dipped by 2.80 dollars to US$72.3. A fresh report showing larger than expected surge in US stockpiles of refined fuel have rekindled apprehensions of lackluster demand in USA. Instead of an anticipated fall by 500,000 barrels, a report by the US Department of Energy's (DoE) on US petroleum stockpiles has shown an unexpected rise in distillate stocks by 1.6 mln barrels in the week ended December 4. Crude reserves fell by 3.8 million barrels to 336.1 million barrels. Distillates include diesel and heating fuel, which usually sees a surge in demand as the winter sets in the Northern Hemisphere. Mild weather and sluggish demand from goods transportation sector has kept demand for distillate fuel oil almost 10% below 2008 levels. This coupled with a strengthening dollar has impacted oil prices.
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