Oil Prices Gain on Fall in U.S. Crude Stockpiles
Oil prices rose on Thursday as a sharp drop in oil stockpiles outweighed concerns that a spike in U.S. coronavirus infections and revived lockdown measures in California could stall a recovery in fuel demand.
Brent crude futures were up 21 cents or 0.5% at $42.24 a barrel by 1114 GMT, after rising 1.8% in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 20 cents, or 0.5%, to $40.02 a barrel, adding to a 1.4% rise on Wednesday.
U.S. crude inventories fell 7.2 million barrels from a record high last week, far more than analysts had expected, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed, as refiners ramped up production and imports eased.
New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, in the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
California rolled back efforts to reopen its economy, banning indoor restaurant dining in much of the state, closing bars and beefing up enforcement of social distancing and other measures.
Capping gains, however, analysts noted that gasoline stockpiles were higher despite expectations of a fall.
Analysts highlighted worries about the spike in cases in heavily populated U.S. sun belt states, which are among the country’s biggest consumers of gasoline.
Attention will be on U.S. driving activity over the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend and how quickly U.S. producers revive shut-in production, analysts said.
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.