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Crude falls, demand concerns outweigh US inventories drop

Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Company, Ras Lanuf, Libya, August 18, 2020. REUTERS / Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Company, Ras Lanuf, Libya, August 18, 2020. REUTERS / Esam Omran Al-Fetori /

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK, Jan 13 (.) – Oil prices fell on Wednesday as the threat that the growing expansion of COVID-19 will further affect global fuel demand outweighed the larger-than-expected drop in crude inventories in the United States.

* Brent crude prices fell 52 cents, or 0.92%, to $ 56.06 a barrel. Prices rose to a session high of $ 57.42 earlier in the day, their highest since Feb. 24.

* The next milestone for Brent prices is to rise above $ 60, a level not seen since late January 2020.

* US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil lost 30 cents, or 0.56%, to $ 52.91 after hitting a session high of $ 53.93, its highest price since February.

* US crude stocks fell in the past week, while distillates and gasoline rose, the government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday.

* Saudi Arabia cut crude supplies for cargo in February to at least three Asian buyers while meeting the requirements of at least four others, several commercial and refinery sources told . on Wednesday.

* But rising COVID-19 death toll in Europe and the United States and new containment measures to slow the spread of the virus elsewhere were affecting prices.

(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa and Javier Leira)