Oil futures settle sharply lower, with U.S. prices down nearly 3%


Oil prices settled lower on Wednesday, with U.S. prices down by nearly 3%, pressured by data showing a decline in U.S. gasoline demand, as traders weighed speculation that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reached a compromise on production levels. Some news reports said the Saudis and the U.A.E. have worked out a deal to boost production, but there are also reports that the U.A.E. has said no agreement has been reached with OPEC+. Meanwhile, data from the Energy Information Administration revealed an eighth-straight weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories, but implied demand for gasoline moved lower for the week. West Texas Intermediate oil for August delivery
fell $2.12, or 2.8%, to settle at $73.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


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