(Bloomberg) -- Oil steadied near a two-week high after U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles posted strong declines, signaling peak summer demand remains robust despite a resurgence of Covid-19.
Futures in New York traded above $72 a barrel after climbing 1% on Wednesday. Crude inventories dropped more than expected last week to the lowest level since January 2020, while supplies of distillates -- a category that includes diesel -- slid the most since April, according to a government report.
See also: U.S. Refiners Miss Out on America’s Fuel Boom Amid Setbacks
Oil has whipsawed throughout July and is set for only the second monthly loss since October after the virus comeback coincided with an OPEC+ agreement to boost output from August. The fast-spreading delta variant has led to renewed restrictions in some regions and raised concerns about short-term demand, although there are expectations the market will continue to tighten.
The prompt timespread for Brent was 89 cents a barrel in backwardation -- a bullish market structure where near-dated contracts are more expensive than later-dated ones. That compares with 64 cents a week earlier.
U.S. crude stockpiles shrunk by 4.09 million barrels last week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, compared with a forecast in a Bloomberg survey for a 2.5-million barrel decline. Gasoline inventories also fell, dropping by 2.25 million barrels.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.