U.S. oil prices finish with a loss of nearly 3% as U.S. crude stocks rise

Oil futures dropped Wednesday, with U.S. prices settling at their lowest in a week and half, after the Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected weekly climb in U.S. crude inventories, the second weekly rise in a row. "A surprise buildup of 4.7 million barrels of crude and 3.7 million barrels of gasoline pushed prices down," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at Oanda. "Middle East tensions and the ongoing [OPEC-led] crude output cut deal have kept prices in a higher range, but higher U.S. production keeps putting downward pressure on prices." July WTI oil CLN19, -2.79% fell by $1.71, or 2.7%, to settle at $61.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since May 13 and biggest one-day dollar and percentage loss in nearly three weeks, FactSet data show.

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