Crude oil prices fell Thursday, weighed down by data showing a smaller-than-expected draw on U.S. crude stockpiles and worries about the global economy, Kallanish Energy reports.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were down 49 cents, or 0.77%, to $63.33 per barrel by 0830 GMT. Brent closed up 2.3% on Wednesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 47 cents, or 0.82%, at $56.87/Bbl. WTI closed up 1.9% on Wednesday.
Markets weren’t moved by the detention in Gibraltar by British Royal Marines of a supertanker possibly carrying Iranian crude oil bound for Syria, as tensions between Iran and the U.S. have risen over recent attacks on non-U.S.-flagged tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Gains were crimped when the Energy Information Administration reported a weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories of 1.1 million barrels (Mmbbl) – after analysts forecast a 3 Mmbbl drop, and the American Petroleum Institute projected a 5 Mmbbl drop.
U.S. inventories fell less than expected as U.S. refineries last week consumed less crude than the week before and processed 2% less oil than a year ago, EIA data showed, despite being in the midst of the summer gasoline demand season.
That fact suggests oil demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer, could be slowing amid signs of a weakening economy.
New orders for U.S. factory goods fell for a second straight month in May, government data showed Wednesday, adding to economic concerns.
The weak U.S. data followed a report of slow business growth in Europe last month as well. The weakness in oil was offset slightly by the broader outlook for global supplies.
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