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Oil prices up over US inventory data

29.06.23 21:00
Oil prices increased on Thursday on the back of demand euphoria after the massive decline in the crude oil stockpiles in US, the world's largest oil consuming country, hinting rising demand at the beginning of the travel season.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $74.52 per barrel at 0856GMT, a 0.26% gain from the closing price of $74.24 a barrel in the previous trading session on Wednesday.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at the same time at $69.90 per barrel, up 0.49% from the previous session's close of $69.56 per barrel.

US commercial crude oil inventories declined by 2.1% during the week ending June 23, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late Wednesday.

Inventories fell by around 9.6 million barrels to 453.7 million barrels, relative to the American Petroleum Institute's expectation of a fall of 2.4 million barrels.

Strategic petroleum reserves, which are excluded from commercial crude stocks, fell by about 1.4 million barrels to 348.6 million barrels last week, the data revealed.

Despite rising crude oil inventories, the unexpected gasoline stockpiles limited the price uptick.

Upward movement of the prices were timid after the world's top central banks' leaders highlighted further monetary policy tightening.

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he anticipates further monetary policy constraints will be implemented.

For her part, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said: "We have not yet seen the full impact of the cumulative rate hikes we have decided on since last July – amounting to 400 basis points. But our job is not done. Barring a material change to the outlook, we will continue to increase rates in July," AA reports.

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