Oil Down On US Build Worry; Saudi-Venezuela Talks Uninspiring


NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Global oil markets fell 3 percent to settle down for a third straight day on Monday on worries that U.S. crude stockpiles had reached new record highs, while a Saudi-Venezuela meeting to boost prices showed little progress.

Oil was also hurt by tumbling U.S. equity markets amid persistent fears about the global economic slowdown.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories and gasoline stocks, already brimming at record high levels, were forecast to have risen last week even as stockpiles of distillates likely fell, a preliminary Reuters survey showed.

The survey came after Sunday's meeting between Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, and his Venezuelan counterpart produced no tangible signs that OPEC and non-OPEC suppliers were ready to meet to discuss the price slump in oil.

U.S. crude settled below $30 a barrel, finishing down $1.20 at $29.69. Global crude benchmark Brent settled down $1.18 at $33.88.

"Everyone's fearing new builds in crude," said Donald Morton, energy trader with Fairfield, Connecticut-based Herbert J. Sims & Co.

U.S. crude stocks likely rose by 3.9 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 5, said the Reuters survey, taken ahead of weekly inventory reports from industry group American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration.


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