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Oil prices dip as US fuel inventories jump

Oil prices on Wednesday slipped 1% with rising US fuel inventories dragging US crude back below USD 50 per barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at USD 48.69 per barrel at 0456 GMT, down 47 cents, or 1%, from its last settlement.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, was down 47 cents – almost 1%- at USD 51.31 per barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) said that US crude stocks rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week ending July 28 to 488.8 million, denting hopes that recent inventory draws were a sign of a tightening US market.

Official storage figures are due to be published by the US Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday.