Oil prices fell over $1 a barrel to below $80 for the first time in a month on Thursday, following an unexpected rise in US inventories.
International benchmark Brent crude futures were last trading down at 91 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $79.14 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dipped 68 cents, or 1 percent, at $69.11 a barrel.
US commercial crude stocks rose 6.49 million barrels to a 15-week high of 416.44 million barrels in the week ended October 12, according to Energy Information Administration data released on Wednesday.
The jump was attributed to a sharp decline in exports, which fell 30.8 percent to 1.78 million barrels per day in the week, it added.
“Technically, prices have broken the important support level of $71 and are likely to head lower towards $68 – $67 in the short term,” Vijay Valecha, chief market analysis, Century Financial, wrote in a client’s note.
“On the upside prices are likely to face resistance around $70.20 – $70.80,” he noted.