U.S. crude oil inventories down last week: API

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HOUSTON, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a decrease of 6.108 million barrels of crude oil in the U.S. crude oil inventories for the week ending Sept. 17.

The API reported a draw of 5.437 million barrels for the previous week.

Economists were expecting a draw of about 2.4 million barrels.

Oil prices fell noticeably on Monday following a winning week.

The West Texas Intermediate for October delivery lost 1.68 U.S. dollars to settle at 70.29 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for November delivery decreased 1.42 dollars to close at 73.92 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The slide came as risk assets were under heavy pressure on Monday amid risk aversion sentiment. U.S. equities closed sharply lower with the Dow shedding over 600 points.

Oil prices were also facing headwind from a firm U.S. dollar, which has been showing signs of strength ahead of the Fed's meeting.

For the week ending Friday, the U.S. crude benchmark rose 3.2 percent, while Brent climbed 3.3 percent, based on the front-month contracts.

The API reports inventory levels of U.S. crude oil, gasoline and distillates stocks. The figure shows how much oil and product is available in storage and thus gives an overview of U.S. petroleum demand. Enditem

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