Oil prices declined on Wednesday after API data showed Tuesday that crude inventories unexpectedly rose by 1.97 million barrels in the week ended December 11th, compared to market consensus of a draw of 1.9 million barrels.
At around 07:00 GMT, WTI crude fell 0.3% to $47.50 a barrel, Brent crude also dropped 0.3% to $50.62 a barrel, according to Trading Economics.
Meantime, surging COVID-19 cases globally forced authorities to reintroduce lockdown measures and mobility restrictions. In the US, California reported its fifth straight day of over 30,000 new infections on Tuesday, while Oregon reported 1,214 new cases.
Four nations of the UK faced calls Tuesday to scrap or at limit a planned easing of virus restrictions over Christmas following a spike in new infections.
In Asia, authorities in South Korea were discussing whether to elevate social distancing restrictions to the highest “Tier 3”.