Crude oil prices drifted lower and settled at a six-week low on Wednesday after data showed a notable increase in gasoline and distillate stockpiles in the week ended January 10.
A drop in Crude stockpiles last week helped limit oil’s decline. Traders weighed the likely impact of Trump administration’s decision to leave the 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports in place till the second phase of trade deal.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures (WTI) for February ended down $0.42, or about 0.7%, at $57.81 a barrel, the lowest settlement price since early December 2019.
On Tuesday, WTI crude oil futures ended up $0.15, or 0.1%, at $58.23 a barrel, snapping a five-day losing streak.
According to the data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude stockpiles in the U.S. fell by 2.55 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 10, substantially higher than an expected drop of about 474,000 barrels.
Gasoline inventories rose by about 6.7 million barrels, almost two times the expected increase, the EIA data said.
Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles climbed by a much larger than expected 8.2 million barrels in the week. The jump was the biggest since September 2017.
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 1.1 million barrels for the week ended January 10, countering expectations for a draw.
A report from OPEC said the group expects lower demand for its oil this year despite an increase in global oil demand, as other producers are grabbing market share and the U.S. continuing to increase crude output to record levels.