Oil steady in early trade

25 June 2015, News Wires – Oil prices were little changed in early Asian trade on Thursday as an unexpected build in US gasoline inventories offset a higher than forecast draw in US crude inventories, while Brent was supported by buoyant manufacturing figures from Europe.

brent.oilBrent crude for August delivery rose 10 cents to $63.59 a barrel early on Thursday, after settling down 96 cents, or 1.5%, in the previous session.

US crude for August delivery shed 9 cents to $60.18 a barrel, after ending the previous session down 74 cents, or 1.2%.

“The market is disappointed with last night’s numbers,” said Mike McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney’s CMC Markets.

“The spread (between Brent and US crude) had narrowed so it’s not surprising it’s diverging,” McCarthy said.

The spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate had narrowed towards $3 in trading on Wednesday but was widening in early trade on Thursday.

He said Brent was being supported by strong data from the Euro zone earlier this week which showed private businesses expanded at their fastest pace in four years this month.

But US crude was down due to the larger than expected build in gasoline inventories after the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration released oil stocks data on Wednesday.

The build in gasoline stocks came despite US gasoline demand in the week to 19 June being at its highest level for the period since 1991.

US gasoline stocks climbed 680,000 barrels to 218.49 million in the week to 19 June, compared with a Reuters poll which expected a 304,000-barrel drop, EIA data showed.

– Reuters

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