On concerns about demand following an unexpected U.S. crude build, crude oil declines.

After weaker-than-expected economic data from the United States and China, the two biggest oil consumers in the world, the price of oil plummeted for a second day on Wednesday. This came after a surprising increase in U.S. crude stocks raised demand fears.

Brent crude futures decreased by 29 cents, or 0.4%, to $74.60 a barrel. In the morning session, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 32 cents, or 0.4%, at $70.55. Market sources quoting American Petroleum Institute data stated that during the week ending May 12, U.S. oil stocks increased by around 3.6 million barrels. Seven analysts surveyed by Reuters had predicted a drawdown of 900,000 barrels. After data revealed that retail sales increased by 0.4% in April, below expectations for an increase of 0.8%, this raised concerns about U.S. growth.

“There are too many unknowns in the global economic picture, and this makes energy merchants less confident about purchasing oil. There is now still too much oil available, according to senior market analyst Edward Moya of OANDA. The market is still being affected by discussions on lifting the US debt ceiling. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. Treasury Department predicts that the country would experience a devastating default as early as June 1.

China’s industrial production and retail sales growth in April fell short of expectations, indicating that the economy slowed down at the start of the second quarter. The Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ decisions to increase sanctions against Russia will be widely watched by the markets when they meet in Japan from May 19–21.

According to officials with direct knowledge of the conversations, the G7 is attempting to target third-country sanctions evasion in order to restrict Russia’s future energy production and stop the trade that supports its armed forces.

Even though the International Energy Agency increased its prediction for the world’s oil demand this year to a record 102 million barrels per day (bpd), oil prices continued to decline.

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