Shares of oil-and-gas companies fell sharply as U.S. crude had its worst day in a year after Libya indicated it would resume export activities at its eastern ports, potentially easing fears of a global supply shortage.
Oil had rallied back near its highest level since 2014 earlier in the week, but analysts said the Libya news started a pattern of selling that picked up as the day went on. "We were ripe for a correction-here it is," said John Saucer, vice president of research and analysis at Mobius Risk Group in Houston. "I really think this is your classic long liquidation technical selloff."
Oil prices extended their losses even after U.S. stockpile data showed inventories fell 12.6 million barrels last week, a much larger drop than analysts had expected.
Traders were also weighing news that Saudi Arabia told OPEC on Wednesday that its oil output rose last month, nearing levels not seen since the country embarked on production cuts in 2016, with the rise starting before the group decided to increase cartel production in late June. (firstname.lastname@example.org)