Oil drops on worse than feared rise in U.S. fuel stocks

By Sonali Paul MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday after U.S.

Reuters May 28, 2020 07:05:38 IST
Oil drops on worse than feared rise in U.S. fuel stocks

Oil drops on worse than feared rise in US fuel stocks

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday after U.S. crude, gasoline and heating oil inventories all rose more than expected, dousing hopes of a smooth recovery in demand from coronavirus lockdowns.

The decline extended losses from Wednesday on uncertainty about Russia's commitment to deep oil production cuts in the lead-up to a June 9 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, dubbed OPEC+.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell as much as 5% to a low of $31.14 and were down 3%, or 97 cents, at $31.84 at 0019 GMT.

Brent crude futures last traded down 2.3%, or 78 cents, at $33.96.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed crude stocks rose by 8.7 million barrels in the week to May 22, compared with analysts' expectations for a draw of 1.9 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.1 million barrels, more than 10 times the build analysts had expected, and stocks of diesel and heating oil rose by 6.9 million barrels, nearly four times as much as anticipated.

"It just indicates that demand recovery is progressing but it's not strong enough yet to be really self-sustaining," National Australia Bank's head of commodity research, Lachlan Shaw said.

The market will be looking to see if data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later on Thursday matches API.

Shaw said crude was also weaker amid scepticism about the tightness of Russia's relationship with Saudi Arabia, even after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed on further "close coordination" on oil output cuts.

With WTI holding above $30, OPEC+ will be closely watching to see whether U.S. oil shale oil producers who have breakeven prices in the high $20 and low $30 dollar range step up production.

"There is a risk that we see those wells that have been shut in start to reverse and we see more supply return to the market," Shaw said.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Richard Pullin)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.