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Oil prices steady under US$64 a barrel after US oil data

Oil prices steady under US$64 a barrel after US oil data

Oil prices were little changed Thursday after U.S. government fuel stocks data showed gasoline supplies shrank less than expected, while crude stocks rose.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery edged up 4 cents to US$63.72 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, mid-afternoon in Singapore. The contract on Wednesday fell 72 cents to settle at US$63.68 a barrel.
Brent crude contract for June delivery gained 20 cents to US$66.45 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report released Wednesday showed a 1.1 million barrel drop in gasoline stocks last week. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a slightly larger drop of 1.2 million barrels.
The report also said, however, that crude oil stocks rose by 1.1 million barrels, in line with expectations. Distillate fuel inventories, which include heating oil and diesel, fell by 200,000 barrels, countering analyst expectations of a 210,000-barrel increase.
Refinery utilization edged up 0.5 percentage point to 88.3 percent from 87.8 percent last week, the report showed. Analysts expected an increase of 0.8 percentage point.
Also lifting oil prices were seemingly positive signs in Iran and Nigeria, two major oil producers.
Iranian and U.S. officials are flirting with the possibility of meeting on the sidelines of a regional conference about Iraq. That could defuse tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions. In Nigeria, serious problems have failed to materialize in the wake of presidential elections last month. News Tuesday that six foreign oil workers were kidnapped and a Nigerian sailor was killed when dynamite-wielding militants attacked an oil vessel in Nigeria's oil-rich south failed to have much impact on markets.
Heating oil futures rose a tad to US$1.8540 a gallon (3.8 liters) while natural gas prices lost 5.2 cents to US$7.678 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Updated : 2021-06-13 17:38 GMT+08:00