Crude oil for May delivery dropped $1.46, or 2.8 percent, to $51.05 a barrel at the 2:30 p.m. close of floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has risen 14 percent this year and is down 65 percent from a record in July.
Oil earlier climbed above $53 a barrel after the Group of 20 nations last week said they will spend $1 trillion to spur the economy, triggering a third day of declines in the dollar and boosting the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency.
Crude-oil inventories in the U.S., the world’s largest energy-consuming nation, rose to 359.4 million barrels in the week ended March 27, a 15-year high. They probably rose 1.5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey of six analysts.
The International Energy Agency will probably lower its global demand forecast this week, given slowing world growth, Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said April 2.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, cut its official selling prices for all grades for customers in the U.S. and in Northwestern and Mediterranean Europe.
Brent crude oil for May settlement dropped $1.24, or 2.3 percent, to $52.23 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The Brent contract is now $1.18 a barrel more expensive than May crude traded on the Nymex, the most since Feb. 17. Brent oil is often priced at a discount to Nymex crude and traded lower for most of March.
Gasoline futures for May delivery dropped 1.64 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $1.476 a gallon in New York. It was the first decline in three trading days. The refining margin for making gasoline widened as much as 9.7 percent.
Gasoline inventories probably fell 1.7 million barrels last week, according to the Bloomberg survey. They rose 2.23 million barrels, or 1 percent, to 217 million barrels in the week ended March 27. That was the highest since the week ended Feb. 13.