Oil prices climb on positive US fuel demand data

Oil prices bounced back on Thursday after dropping by more than a dollar a barrel the previous day, supported by stronger fuel demand data from the United States, the world’s top oil consumer.

Brent crude futures rose by 17 cents, to $76.58 a, while U.S. crude futures climbed 17 cents, to $72.73.

A sharper-than-expected drop in U.S. gasoline inventories boosted prices, reflecting stronger demand for transport fuels in the U.S.

However, investors remained cautious as rising global interest rates continued to drive recessionary fears.

Ongoing downside risks to global growth conditions could squeeze prices into a range moving forward, with the need for a more concrete catalyst for another push higher, said Yeap.

The latest U.S. data showed consumer prices rose in April, increasing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will maintain higher interest rates, which can have the knock-on effect of reducing oil demand.

Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels last week, more much more than the 1.2 million barrel draw forecast by analysts, the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed.

Distillate stocks also declined, while U.S. jet fuel demand rose to its highest level since December 2019.

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