Oil prices declined on Wednesday, as worries of weaker crude demand continued to weigh on the market.

The West Texas Intermediate for April delivery settled 1.17 U.S. dollars lower at 48.73 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery shed 1.52 dollars to close at 53.43 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Fears of virus-related risks to demand persist, according to experts.

Reports of U.S. crude stocks, an indication of the short-term supply situation in the United States, also failed to support the market.

.S. crude oil inventories increased during the week ending Feb. 21, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report on Wednesday.

According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 500,000 barrels from the previous week. Enditem

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