China halts oil price hikes

Oil prices fell, on Wednesday, after the Chinese government stepped up efforts to curb the record rise in coal prices and operate coal mines at full capacity to ease the energy shortage crisis.
Chinese coal and other commodities fell in early trade, which in turn pulled oil prices down after a slight rally earlier in the session.
Brent crude futures fell 64 cents, or 0.8%, to $84.44 a barrel during trading, giving up the rise of 75 cents in the previous session, but it is still near its highest level in several years.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for November, which expire on Wednesday, fell 56 cents to $82.4 a barrel. December contracts fell 59 cents, or 0.7%, to $81.85 a barrel.
Oil markets in general remain supported on the back of the global coal and gas crisis, which led to a shift to diesel and fuel oil for power generation.
But the market came under pressure on Wednesday due to data from the American Petroleum Institute showing a rise in US crude stocks by 3.3 million barrels in the week ending October 15, according to market sources.
That was much higher than the expectations of nine analysts in a Reuters poll for a stock increase of 1.9 million barrels.
But US gasoline and distillate stocks, which include diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, fell much more than analysts had expected, indicating higher demand.
(Reuters)

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