Investing.com - Oil stayed below the $45-per-barrel level on Thursday as sentiment continued to be battered by signals of swelling stockpiles and growing shale production in the U.S. U.S. crude was at $44.45 at 05:00 ET, down 28 cents, or 0.63%. Brent was down 22 cents, or 0.47%, at $46.78. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that crude oil inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels at the end of last week, disappointing expectations for a decline of around 2.8 million barrels. The report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a drop of 457,000 barrels. Oil prices have been under pressure in recent weeks as concern over rising U.S. shale output offset production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members. Last month, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended a deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018.
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