Oil futures posted a loss on Tuesday for the first time in three sessions, with prices pressured by news that the U.S. Energy Department will release 26 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve this year. The release plans were part of a congressional mandate related to annual budgets that has been in place for almost a decade, said Tyler Richey, co-editor of Sevens Report Research. But “when traders see an SPR release headline cross the wires, they think ‘more supply on the market’ and hit the sell button first and ask questions later.” U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CLH23, -1.20% declined by $1.08, or nearly 1.4%, to settle at $79.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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