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Oil prices hold gains as EIA reports US crude stockpiles fell by 6.4 million barrels, more than expected

Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters


Oil prices held gains on Thursday after government data showed a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories as refinery activity increased and crude imports fell.

Brent crude futures for August were up 20 cents at $50.96 a barrel by 11:08 a.m. ET (1508 GMT), after earlier rising to $51.44. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 42 cents at $48.74 a barrel, off a session peak of $49.07.

U.S. commercial crude inventories fell by 6.4 million barrels in the week to May 26, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports . That compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2.9 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.1 million-barrel drop.

Meanwhile, Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 394,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 755,000-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

 Written by Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters
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