Oil fell for a second consecutive day on Thursday as inventories and concerns regarding a possible incoming recession. West Texas Intermediate fell to $79 per barrel, extending its loss of almost 1% the previous day.
Following the report of a slowdown in U.S. retail sales growth, the American Petroleum Institute announced a 7.6 million-barrel rise in commercial stockpiles. This is largely the result of the December cold snap that led to the temporary shutdown of refineries.
While optimism around the reopening of China’s economy somewhat limited the recent fall in investor optimism, this didn’t stop crude from freefalling by 10% during the first two sessions of the year. Crude rebounded over the days that followed due to the Chinese economic recovery coming to the forefront of world economic news.
Aside from recent U.S. financial figures, a decline in European demand has also dampened investor confidence. This comes amid reports that a series of strikes will occur in France on Thursday, which is expected to disrupt much of the country’s crude processing.