14:55 GMT +314 December 2019
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    The prices of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US oil benchmark, and Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, hit record lows not seen since April 2009 on Tuesday.

    Oil Slides on US Stock Surge, Record Saudi Output

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    Oil prices fell more than a percent on Wednesday on news of a larger-than-expected weekly build in US stockpiles and Saudi Arabia reporting record output in March.

    Brent crude for May delivery was down 1.4 percent at $58.27 a barrel, and US WTI May crude slid 1.93 percent to settle at $52.94 a barrel.

    The decline in prices followed a rally on Tuesday, when US crude approached 2015 highs following strong jobs data and government forecasts for lower US crude production growth and higher global demand for oil, Reuters reported.

    Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed US crude stocks surged 12.2 million barrels last week against analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.4 million barrels.

    Adding to that supply, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said late on Tuesday that Saudi output would likely remain around 10 million barrels per day after posting a record high of 10.3 million in March.

    Naimi also said the Kingdom stood ready to "improve" prices but only if producers outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) joined the effort.

    "We're going to need to see a very big uptick in demand to offset that supply," Ben Le Brun, analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney said. "There is a glut of supply in oil at the moment."


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