Oil prices fell about 1% on Wednesday after four straight days of declines, as investors remain worried about the outlook for fuel demand as COVID-19 cases surge worldwide and on rising strength in the U.S. dollar. Brent crude was down 68 cents, or 1%, to $68.35 a barrel by 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT). U.S. WTI crude oil lost $1.05, or 1.6%, to $65.54 a barrel.
Oil markets have experienced several days of weakness due to the rise in infections caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus both in the United States and worldwide. Several countries have re-introduced travel restrictions, and air traffic has softened in recent weeks. A bigger-than-expected drawdown helped the market in U.S. crude inventories, which fell 3.2 million barrels last week to 435.5 million barrels, their lowest since January 2020. Gasoline stocks, however, rose modestly, which kept the market from moving up given ongoing coronavirus worries.
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