Oil Slips for Third Session before U.S. Inventories EIA Data

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Oil fell for a third straight session on Wednesday as investors took profits while looking ahead to U.S. inventories data due later in the day for pointers on where prices will head next.

Brent crude for May dropped 63 cents, or 0.9, to 66.89 a barrel by 0721 GMT, after earlier hitting an intraday low of 66.50, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April was at 63.47 a barrel, down 54 cents, or 0.8.

Prices gained support last week from the OPEC decision to largely maintain production cuts in April. They then initially jumped on Monday, with Brent rising above 70 a barrel, after attacks by Yemeni Houthis on Saudis oil heartland, before settling back as the alarm subsided.

Its a realisation that there was no impact on supply from the attack, Virendra Chauhan, a Singaporebased analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects said.

A combination of factors including top importers China and India drawing crude from storage at current high prices and expectations of a return in Iranian supplies have also cooled prices, he added.

In the United States, crude inventories rose by 12.8 million barrels in the week to March 5, according to trading sources, citing data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute. Analysts had expected a build of about 800,000 barrels in a Reuters poll.

Official figures from the Energy Information Administration EIA are expected Wednesday at 1030 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, higher prices are expected to bring more U.S. crude supplies back online….

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