Oil extends losses as economic slowdown concerns return

 Oil fell for a second day on Wednesday as concerns over global economic headwinds deepened, erasing the price gains booked after top crude exporter Saudi Arabia’s surprise weekend pledge to deepen output cuts.

Brent crude futures were down 56 cents, or 0.7%, at $75.73 a barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 52 cents, also 0.7%, to $71.22 a barrel.

Both benchmarks jumped more than $1 on Monday after Saudi Arabia’s decision over the weekend to reduce output by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 9 million bpd in July.

U.S. gasoline inventories rose by about 2.4 million barrels and distillates inventories were up by about 4.5 million barrels in the week ended June 2, market sources said on Tuesday, citing American Petroleum Institute figures.

The unexpected buildup of fuel stockpiles raised concerns over consumption by the world’s top oil user, especially as travel demand grew during the Memorial Day weekend.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that U.S crude oil production this year would rise faster  and demand increases would cool compared to prior expectations.

China’s official data showed on Wednesday that its exports shrank much faster than expected in May and imports fell, albeit at a slower pace, as manufacturers struggled to find demand abroad and domestic consumption remained sluggish.

The data also showed crude oil imports into China, the world’s largest oil importer, in May rose to their third-highest monthly level ever as refiners built up inventories.

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