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Crude Stockpile Surges, Price Progress Stalls

Crude oil futures fell Wednesday, giving up gains from earlier in the session as stockpiles surged in the U.S. while demand fell.

Information released Wednesday showed the West Texas Intermediate contract for March lost $1.23, or 1.58%, to settle at $76.64 U.S. a barrel. The Brent contract for April settled at $81.60 a barrel, down $1.17 or 1.41%.

The move came after commercial crude oil inventories in the U.S. surged by 12 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Oil demand as measured by finished products supplied to the market dropped by 973,000 barrels per day during the same period.

Petroleum prices had gained 1% earlier in the trading session after Israel launched airstrikes in Lebanon in reaction to rockets fired into northern Israel that killed one person and injured at least seven more.

WTI gained 3.8% and Brent tacked on 3% in the last week as the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza rages on with no ceasefire in sight. U.S. crude has hiked nearly 7%, and the global benchmark is ahead 5.9% for the year.

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