Crude oil prices edged lower on Wednesday after data showed a jump in U.S. gasoline stockpiles in the week ended June 4.
However, the downside was just marginal as the official data showed crude inventories fell for a third straight week.
According to the report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by 5.2 million barrels last week, higher than an expected drop of about 4.1 million barrels.
The EIA data showed gasoline inventories rose by 7 million barrels in the week as against forecast for an increase of about 1 million barrels. Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles increased by 4.4 million barrels last week, beating forecasts for a 400,000-barrel rise.
On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute’s report showed crude inventories in the U.S. fell by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended June 4.
West Intermediate crude oil futures for July ended down $0.09 or about 0.1% at $69.96 a barrel.
Brent crude futures settled at $72.22 a barrel today.
The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub edged up by 200,000 barrels to 45.7 million barrels for the week.
According to a monthly report released Tuesday, the EIA forecast a decline in global oil inventories in the second half of 2021, reinforcing expectations of a demand-led recovery.
“We expect rising production will end the persistent global oil inventory draws that have occurred for much of the past year and lead to relatively balanced global oil markets in the second half of 2021,” the EIA said in the report.
There is an optimism around the demand outlook after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Japan just ahead of the Olympics.