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Oil Prices Remain Steady in Prime Asian Trading
Supply Cut Expectations versus Demand Concerns
There have been few changes in oil prices in the prime Asian trading on Thursday as investors weighed in on demand concerns in amid a slowdown in the global economy versus an expected drop in supplies thanks to Saudi production cuts.
And at 01:10 GMT, Brent crude futures were down a cent to $76.94 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down five cents to $72.58 a barrel.
The two benchmarks were up about 1% when they settled on Wednesday, supported by Saudi Arabian plans to make big output cuts, but price increases remained limited due to high US fuel inventories and weak Chinese export data.
Latest US Energy Information Administration Data
The latest data released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administration showed a drop in US crude oil inventories last week, while distillate inventories rose.
The Energy Information Administration said gasoline inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels for the week, which is more than analysts expected, up 880,000 barrels.
Distillate inventories rose about 5.1 million barrels for the week, beating analyst expectations for a 1.3 million barrel increase.
A larger-than-expected increase in U.S. fuel inventories raised concerns about demand for the world’s largest oil consumer, especially as travel was expected to increase over the Memorial Day holiday.
Meanwhile, U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 451,000 barrels for the week, while analysts had expected a one million barrel increase.