Investing.com - Oil prices continued the downward trend for a second session on Thursday after data released a day earlier showed an unexpectedly strong build in U.S. crude stockpiles, while geopolitical tensions, the upcoming deadline for U.S. sanctions on Iran and continuing concern over production have all been factors involved in recent market volatility.
New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 56 cents, or 0.80%, at $69.19 a barrel by 10:24 AM ET (14:24 GMT), adding to losses of 2.82% a day earlier.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., traded down 71 cents, or 0.89%, to $79.34, losing the $80 handle.
The EIA said on Wednesday that U.S. crude stockpiles surged by 6.5 million barrels last week, marking the fourth-straight week of increases. Exports fell to 1.8 million bpd.
The increase in inventories offset a slip in U.S. crude production of 300,000 bpd to 10.9 million bpd over the same period after some of the offshore facilities were shut down for Hurricane Michael.
Lastly, natural gas futures traded down 2.17% to $3.248 per million British thermal units.
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