Oil prices weakened after the U.S. said it would sell 26 million barrels from its strategic reserve.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, slipped 1.6% to $78.88 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, retreated 1.2% to $85.60 a barrel.
The release from the U.S. reserves will add supply to the market. Traders are also awaiting inflation data that may give the Federal Reserve cause to keep interest rates higher for longer. That would depress demand for energy by slowing economic growth. Oil prices have declined almost 10% over the past three months.
On the other hand, concerns that oil supplies will be tight have the potential to push up prices. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at its lowest level since 1983, and Russia last week said it will cut production in retaliation against Western sanctions after the country invaded Ukraine last week.
Write to Brian Swint at email@example.com