By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com -- U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly jumped last week, the API reported Tuesday, adding further pressure on oil prices following two-straight days of selling as investors reined in expectations of prolonged supply disruptions related to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
West Texas Intermediate , the U.S. benchmark, traded at $95.06 barrel following the report, after settling down 6.4% at $96.44 a barrel.
U.S. crude inventories increased by 3.8 million barrels for the week ended March. 10. That compared with a build of 2.8 million barrels reported by the API for the previous week. Economists were expecting a draw of about 1.9 million barrels.
Oil prices started the week on back foot, falling further below $100 a barrel and erasing most of their gains from the Ukraine-Russia conflict amid hopes that peace talks may spur a diplomatic solution to ending the war.
The API data also showed that gasoline inventories fell by 3.8 million barrels last week, and distillate stocks increased by 888,000 barrels.
The official government inventory report due Wednesday is expected to show weekly U.S. crude supplies decreased by about 1.4 million barrels last week.
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