Oil prices are on course for a record high in more than three weeks, buoyed by anticipation of higher demand over the summer-driving period and persistent turmoil in Ukraine, despite a US report that’s released weekly showing a slight but unexpected rise in crude stockpiles.
The per-barrel price of June delivery crude ascended 71 cents or 0.7% to $102.41 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
“With the summer-driving season right around the corner, and gasoline demand set to rise, we could see the [oil] price test resistance at $105 and potentially break out to new 2014 highs in coming weeks,” Tyler Richey of 7:00’s Report told Marketwatch.
The US Energy Information Administration said early today that crude inventories jumped 900,000 barrels for the week ended May 9. Platts’ analysts had projected a loss of 1.5 million barrels.
Richey added that the surprise increase in national crude stockpiles were overshadowed by increasing expectations for demand of gasoline for summer driving as well as sharply low stocks at Cushing, the delivery hub for Nymex crude contracts.
According to Bloomberg, West Texas Intermediate crude advanced after government data showed dwindling stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma.
Reports from both the EIA and American Petroleum Institute indicated a drop of about 600,000 barrels at the delivery point for the latest week. Late Tuesday, the API also reported a surprise hike of 912,000 barrels of crude inventories.
EIA data showed that Gasoline stockpiles dropped 800,000 barrels, while distillate inventories plunged by 1.1 million barrels. Platts’ analysts had expected gasoline inventories to drop by 1 million, as distillates were seen ascending 1 million barrels.
June delivery gasoline added about a penny to $2.94 per gallon, as heating oil for June delivery increased 1.5 cents or 0.5% to $2.96 per gallon on the Nymex. June natural gas sank less than a cent to $4.35 for every million UK thermal units.
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