Oil Skids Amid Start of U.S. Summer Driving Season

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SINGAPORE, June 10 Reuters Oil prices fell on Thursday as inventory data in the United States, the worlds top oil consumer, showed a surge in gasoline stocks that indicates weakerthanexpected fuel demand at the start of summer, the countrys peak season for motoring.

Brent crude oil futures were down 55 cents, or 0.8, at 71.67 a barrel by 0341 GMT, while U.S. oil futures declined by 53 cents, or 0.8, at 69.43 a barrel.

Markets had been optimistic on demand as the U.S. enters the peak summer driving season, analysts from ANZ Research said in a note on Thursday.

An acceleration in coronavirus vaccinations and rising traffic numbers are a plus for demand for transportation fuel. However, this data highlights it wont be a smooth road back to recovery.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles that include the Strategic Petroleum Reserve SPR fell for the 11th straight week as refiners ramped up output, but fuel inventories grew sharply due to weak consumer demand, the Energy Information Administration EIA said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories that exclude the SPR fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week to June 4 to 474 million barrels, the third consecutive weekly drop. But fuel stocks were up sharply, with product supplied falling to 17.7 million barrels per day bpd versus 19.1 million the week before….

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