© Reuters. Illustration photo of crude oil being dispensed into a bottle
TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a fifth day on Thursday after official data showed continued spikes in inventories and fuel supplies as the ubiquitous pandemic clouded the demand outlook.
fell 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 67.88 a barrel by 0119 GMT after falling 0.6% on Wednesday. US oil also fell 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 64.48 a barrel after falling 0.3% in the previous session.
Government data on Wednesday showed that US crude oil inventories rose for four straight weeks after refineries in the south had to shut down due to extreme cold. An industry report that estimated a 1 million barrels decline had raised hopes that the profit margin may have stopped.
“Despite the ongoing recovery in refining activity, US crude oil inventories rose last week,” Capital Economics said in a customer statement.
“We suspect that if refining activity continues to rise and crude oil production remains stable, we suspect that inventories will soon decline,” said Capital, noting that refineries are “going back online quickly”.
US crude oil inventories rose 2.4 million barrels last week. An industry report on Tuesday estimated a drop of 1 million barrels. Analysts had expected an average increase of 3 million barrels. [EIA/S]
Gasoline and diesel inventories rose contrary to analysts’ expectations for a decline.
On the demand side, some European countries have stopped using AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ 🙂 COVID-19 vaccine due to concerns about possible side effects.
Coronavirus cases are also on the rise in Germany, while Italy is planning a national lockdown for the Easter lockdown and France will put in place stricter restrictions.
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