Oil prices slid on Thursday after US gasoline and distillate fuel stockpiles pointed to lower demand, overshadowing supply concerns from Libyan oil field disruptions.
West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) sank more than 2% before paring losses following the release of US crude inventory data. Brent (BZ=F) also sank into negative territory, losing its more than 1% of its opening gains.
Gasoline stockpiles rose by 10.9 million barrels, their highest week-over-week increase in more than three decades, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Distillate inventories, which includes mostly diesel fuel, rose by 10.1 million barrels versus estimates for a build of 400,000 barrels.
Crude inventories fell by 5.5 million barrels for the week ending December 29, but those figures may reflect supplies from the US making up for crude shipment interruptions stemming from Red Sea tensions.