Oil prices fell for a third consecutive day on reports about rising crude stockpiles and a slowdown in economic growth. This was the longest losing streak for oil since the Japan earthquake in March. WTI crude futures fell by 0.31 percent to USD $ 110.70 per barrel. Brent crude futures fell by 0.28 percent to USD $ 122.11 per barrel.
The American Petroleum Institute reported that crude inventories rose by 3.2 million barrels last week, signaling a buildup of oil supplies and no apparent shortage of crude oil, which eased prices.
Also, it is expected that economic data to be released on Friday will signal a slowdown of economic data, as reports earlier this week suggested that the manufacturing sector in the US was slowing down. These expectations were further strengthened by the Chinese central bank announcing that it was planning on tightening its monetary policy in order to control inflation. An increase in the interest rate and bank reserve requirements brought down the manufacturing index in China in April. There are concerns that a tightening of the monetary policy in developing economies shall slowdown economic growth in these regions. Since developing economies represent close to 80 percent of the global oil demand growth, this move would ease down oil prices.