Oil Edges Higher, with U.S. Prices Back above 70 a Barrel

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Oil futures edged higher Thursday, after a weekly jump in U.S. gasoline inventories and a fall in implied demand for the fuel reported by the government a day earlier helped push U.S. benchmark crude prices back below 70 a barrel.

The market seems convinced that both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude deserve to be traded above 70 dollars under the current demand trajectory, and maintaining these levels shows that patience prevails against last weeks gasoline inventories upset, said Louise Dickson, oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy, in a daily note.

The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a 5.2 millionbarrel fall in domestic crude inventories for the week ended June 4, but also said gasoline stocks climbed by 7 million barrels. Meanwhile, the amount of finished motor gasoline supplied for that week, a proxy for demand, fell by 666,000 barrels to 8.48 million barrels a day.

The rise in U.S. gasoline stocks is a reminder that the journey towards normal, prepandemic oil consumption levels is not a straight route. Louise Dickson, Rystad Energy

The rise in U.S. gasoline stocks is a reminder that the journey towards normal, prepandemic oil consumption levels is not a straight route, said Dickson.

West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 20 cents, or 0.3, to 70.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. August Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 22 cents, or 0.3, at 72.44 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

In a monthly…

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