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Crude oil futures settled higher on Thursday as data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories continued to support oil prices.

A weak dollar contributed as well to the jump in oil prices. The dollar index dropped to 91.91, losing more than 0.4%. The dollar drifted lower after the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it has not yet set a time to start tapering its bond purchases.

Data from Genscape indicated that the inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub have continued drop. Cushing stockpiles were seen at 36.299 million barrels by Tuesday afternoon, down 360,917 barrels from last Friday.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up by $1.23 or about 1.7% at $73.62 a barrel, the highest close since July 13.

Brent crude futures gained about $1.30 or 1.7% at $76.04 a barrel.

Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showed crude inventories in the U.S. fell by 4.089 million barrels last week, over a million barrels up from an expected drop of about 2.9 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories dropped by 2.253 million barrels last week, more than twice the expected draw, the data showed.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.088 million barrels, much more than an expected drop of 435,000 barrels.

The drawdown in crude inventories to their lowest level since January 2020 raised optimism that supplies will remain tight despite the production hikes set by OPEC+.

Traders shrugged off data that showed India’s crude oil imports dropped to their lowest level in eight months in June.


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