WTI crude oil prices fell below $79 per barrel on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session as disappointing US data fanned recession fears, while industry figures pointed to a surprise build in US crude stockpiles.
Latest data showed the US retail sales declined more than expected in December while US producer prices fell the most since April 2020, stoking concerns over a potential slowdown.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute also showed that US crude inventories increased by 7.6 million barrels last week, defying expectations for a 1.8 million barrel decline.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said in its latest outlook that global consumption will reach a record daily average this year led by a demand recovery in top crude importer China,
though it flagged a large surplus in the first quarter. Saudi Aramco also said that it was optimistic about oil consumption as China recovers and air travel rebounds