Oil futures staged an intraday U-turn on Thursday, settling lower and giving up a portion of 8% leap seen a day earlier, as doubts over the potential for a production cut among major producers offset earlier support from weakness in the U.S. dollar.
March West Texas Intermediate crude fell by 56 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $31.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices had surged earlier to $33.60, which would have marked the highest settlement since Jan. 29.
April Brent crude the global oil benchmark, lost 58 cents, or 1.7% to $34.46 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange, retreating from a high of $35.84.
WTI prices jumped Wednesday despite data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that showed a bigger-than-expected 7.8 million-barrel weekly increase in crude stockpiles. The increase lifted total U.S. supplies to 502.7 million barrels, the highest weekly level on record, based on EIA data going back to the 1980s.