Along with wider markets, oil clung to losses as swelling U.S. crude stockpiles added to confusion about the economic effects of growing cases of coronavirus worldwide.
Futures in New York tumbled as much as 6.2 percent on Wednesday, the biggest intraday drop in three weeks. Domestic oil inventories grew 4.32 million barrels last week, the biggest build since July.
Earlier in the day, prices were trading lower alongside US equities, with weakness seen from Boeing Co. to Microsoft Corp. In Europe, meanwhile, a renewed increase in cases of viruses is encouraging policymakers to consider tighter restrictions. As the nation may face a prolonged winter peak in the pandemic, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be obliged to enforce a national lockdown.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped $2.18 to $37.39 a barrel at 10:33 a.m. for December delivery. He’s in New York. Brent on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange slipped $2.05 to $39.15 a barrel for the same month.