Brent crude oil futures fell by 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $68.80 barrel by 0123 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped by 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $65.43 a barrel.
Both Brent and U.S. crude futures hit their highest since mid-March on Wednesday earlier than retreating. The $70-per-barrel mark has acted as a barrier for the market since Brent broke simply above that degree in March, with traders unwilling to push oil larger as COVID-19 instances improve in elements of the world.
“Oil prices fell in response to U.S. gasoline stockpiles rising,” analysts from Commonwealth Bank of Australia mentioned in a be aware. They mentioned, nonetheless, the drop in prices is unwarranted as U.S. demand stays sturdy.
U.S. crude stocks fell final week greater than anticipated as refining output rose and exports surged, the Energy Information Administration mentioned on Wednesday.
Crude inventories fell by 8 million barrels within the week to April 30 to 485.1 million barrels, in contrast with expectations in a Reuters ballot for a 2.3 million-barrel drop.
U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 737,000 barrels within the week, the EIA mentioned, in opposition to a forecast for 652,000-barrel draw.
Pandemic-related restrictions within the United States and elements of Europe are easing, however infections are nonetheless on the rise in main crude oil importers India and Japan, weighing on prices.
Meanwhile, militants utilizing bombs attacked two oil wells at an oilfield near the northern Iraqi metropolis of Kirkuk on Wednesday, killing no less than one policeman and setting off fires, the nation’s oil ministry mentioned.
Industry sources mentioned the assault had not affected output. An oil ministry assertion didn’t touch upon manufacturing.