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By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Oil was down Thursday morning in Asia, with demand from India continuing to drop. The U.S. posted high gasoline stocks, indicating weaker-than-expected fuel demand at the start of the country’s peak summer travel season.
Brent oil futures fell 0.69% to $71.72 by 12:16 AM ET (4:16 AM GMT) and WTI futures were down 0.69% to $69.48.
India, the third-largest oil consumer, posted its lowest fuel demand level in May since August 2020, as economic activity remained restricted due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, which topped 29 million as of June 10.
Wednesday’s U.S. crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a draw of 5.241 million barrels for the week ending June 4. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a 2.036 million-barrel draw, while a 5.080 million-barrel draw was recorded during the previous week.
Crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, released the day before, showed a draw of 2.108 million barrels.
"Markets had been optimistic on demand as the U.S. enters the peak summer driving season…an acceleration in (COVID-19) vaccinations and rising traffic numbers are a plus for demand for transportation fuel. However, this data highlights it won't be a smooth road back to recovery," analysts from ANZ Research said in a note.
U.S. oil stockpiles, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), decreased for the 11th consecutive week as refiners boosted output.
Meanwhile, Libya's Waha Oil Co is reportedly set to return to normal output operations on Thursday after fixing a leak on a pipeline. The leak, reported on Monday, reportedly led to a fall of oil production to 130,000 barrels per day on Wednesday, from 285,000 bpd a day earlier.