Afternoon Coffee: Oil Prices Fall as US Inventories Rise, Oil Also Having Impact on M&As

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U.S. crude inventories increased 2.1 million barrels last week, pushing inventories to a new weekly record high, according to the Energy Information Administration. Fears of oversupply and no signs of a slowdown in global oil production caused U.S. crude prices today to fall 4.8% to $29.28 a barrel and Brent futures to drop $1.36 to $32.92 a barrel.

Lower oil prices are impacting M&A activity this year, Thomson Reuters reported. Worldwide M&A deals are down 23% in 2016 compared to last year. Other factors for the fall include a drop in optimism around the financial sector and slow growth in China.

Reuters market analyst John Kemp also pointed out how the oil price downturn has resulted in tens of thousands of jobs being eliminated throughout the oil and gas industry supply chain. A skilled workforce, though, is one of the industry’s most important assets, Kemp said.

Internal Volkswagen documents show executives may have known about the company’s diesel emission problems earlier than previously stated and that the automaker delayed working with U.S. regulators when confronted about the defect in its vehicles.

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