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Oil prices drop amid concerns over weaker demand

Oil prices retreated on Wednesday, despite a decline in US crude inventories last week, as investors concerned about weakening demand.

For the week ending July 19, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 10.8 million barrels from the previous week, the US Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday.

Yet at 445 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2 per cent above the five year average for this time of year. The decline was due to disruptions caused by a Gulf of Mexico storm earlier this month and seen as a “one-off event,” an energy expert told MarketWatch. Analysts also noted that the ongoing US-Iran tensions have triggered worries over weakening demand in the Middle East.

The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps denied on Wednesday that any of Iran’s drones has been downed by the United States in the Strait of Hormuz region recently.

US President Donald Trump announced the U.S. action last Thursday, claiming that the Iranian drone was “destroyed” in the Strait of Hormuz.

The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery dropped 0.89 U.S. dollar to settle at 55.88 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery declined 0.65 dollar to close at 63.18 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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