US crude falls to US$53.55 on US export permission, stock build-up

SEOUL (REUTERS) - US crude futures touched a low of US$53.55 a barrel in early Asian trade on Wednesday, remaining near 5-1/2-year lows, hit by concern over surplus supply as the United States decided to permit more oil exports and on an unexpected build-up in U.S. crude inventory last week.

The Obama administration on Tuesday bowed to months of growing pressure over a 40-year-old ban on exports of most domestic crude, taking two steps expected to unleash a wave of ultra-light shale oil onto global markets.

The Bureau of Industry and Security, or BIS, which regulates export controls, said it had granted permission to "some" companies to sell lightly treated condensate abroad.