NEW YORK, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices fell Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected signaling weak demand from the biggest oil-consuming country.
Light, sweet crude for December delivery decreased 1.44 U.S. dollars to settle at 96.86 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest in almost four months.
European oil benchmark Brent crude for December delivery lost 2. 17 dollars to close at 107.8 dollars a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday that crude supplies increased by 5.2 million barrels to 379.8 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 18, beating analysts' expectation of 4 million barrels.
Gasoline supplies fell by 0.8 million barrels to 215.5 million barrels. The EIA report also showed that U.S. refineries ran at 85. 9 percent of total capacity, down from 86.2 percent of the prior week.
Weak economic data from the United States also weighed on oil prices.
U.S. employers added 148,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Tuesday, missing market estimates. While the unemployment rate edged down to a near-five-year low of 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent in August, mainly due to a lower labor- force participation rate.