Oil futures settled below $28 a barrel on Wednesday as recent industry reports raised further worries about the outlook for crude demand and an ongoing surplus of supplies. Prices managed to get only a brief boost in the immediate wake of data showing a surprise decline in weekly U.S. crude inventories. March West Texas Intermediate crude finished at $27.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 49 cents, or 1.8%. Based on the front-month contracts, prices settled at their lowest level since Jan. 20.
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