U.S. benchmark oil prices snapped back with gains Thursday, a day after a decline had followed a reported hefty weekly rise in domestic crude inventories.
Gasoline futures continued their sharp advance at multimonth highs after U.S. data focused on this segment of the market showed a drop in U.S. gasoline stockpiles that was more than double market expectations.
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery
was up 66 cents, or 1.2%, at $56.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent
rose 83 cents, or 0.2%, to $65.99 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
was up 3 cents, or 1.5%, at $1.816 a gallon. On Wednesday, it rose 1.2% to settle at $1.789 a gallon on Nymex—the highest finish for a front-month contract since Oct. 30, according to FactSet data.
While OPEC is curbing production, U.S. crude production continues to sit at a record.
The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that U.S. crude supplies rose by 7.1 million barrels for the week ended March 1. That was well above the average climb of 1.9 million barrels expected by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts, but just under the 7.3 million barrel increase reported by the American Petroleum Institute data on Tuesday.
Supplies of gasoline fell by 4.2 million barrels, while distillates edged down by 2.4 million barrels last week, according to the EIA. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for supply declines of 2 million barrels for gasoline and 1.4 million barrels for distillates.
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