Oil prices rose a day after falling due to data indicating weak demand for fuel in the US driving season, while investors awaited upcoming US economic data.
Brent crude futures rose 18 cents, or 0.25%, to $72.40 a barrel, close to a peak not seen since May 2019.
US oil futures rose 11 cents, or 0.16%, to $70.07 a barrel, still near their highest level since October 2018.
“The market is recovering impressively from the (US) bleak weekly EIA report, the weekly decline in gasoline demand was particularly disappointing,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at BVM Oil Associates.
“I will be interested to see if the monthly OPEC report due later confirms the optimistic assessment of demand in the second half of the year,” he said. If it does, as expected, it should support oil prices.”
The US Energy Information Administration said that US crude oil stocks, which include strategic petroleum reserves, fell for the eleventh week in a row, as refineries boosted production, but fuel stocks increased sharply due to weak consumer demand.
Crude stocks, excluding strategic petroleum reserves, fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week ending June 4 to 474 million barrels, the third consecutive weekly decline. But fuel stocks rose strongly.
In India, the third largest oil consumer in the world, demand for fuel fell in May to its lowest level since August of last year, with a second wave of infections (Covid 19) causing disruption to transportation and reducing economic activity in the country.
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