Crude oil prices declined sharply on Wednesday, registering the steepest single session slide in over three weeks, as escalating U.S.-China trade dispute raised concerns about the outlook for global economic growth and demand for oil.
Meanwhile, official U.S. data showed a smaller than expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.
Crude oil futures for September ended down $2.23, or 3.2%, at $66.94 a barrel, a seven-week low. Meanwhile, Brent crude fell nearly 3.3% to $72.22 a barrel.
Data released by the Energy Information Administration revealed U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 1.351 million barrels for the week ended August 3, as against a forecast for a drop of over 3 million barrels.
According to the report, crude production was down 100,000 barrels per day to 10.8 million barrel per day, during the week under review. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks rose by 2.9 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 1.7 million barrel drop.
According to a report released by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday, U.S. crude inventories dropped by 6.02 million barrels last week, much more than a 3 million barrels fall predicted by a survey by Bloomberg.