NEW YORK: Brent crude prices fell for the third straight day as tensions in the Middle East faded, leaving rising global fuel supplies and faltering demand to weigh on prices.
US crude oil inventories jumped to a record last week as domestic production continued to climb while oil imports fell, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Brent crude for June fell 37 cents to $ 103.97 per barrel by 1547 GMT. The benchmark has slipped from the one-month high of $105.94 on Tuesday when Israeli air strikes on Syria stoked supply fears.
US oil lost 82 cents to $ 95.80.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level in nearly 5-1/2 years last week, signaling labor market resilience in the face of fiscal austerity.
US equity markets edged lower, coming off their record highs.
“US crude has been very responsive to higher prices in equities, and we were reaching a point in the S&P 500 where there’s going to be some profit-taking. You’re probably going to see oil doing a front-run on that,” said Richard Ilczyszyn, chief market strategist and founder of iitrader.com in Chicago.
Traders said that weak supply and demand fundamentals now outweighed fading geopolitical concerns.