Oil Down, But Draw in U.S. Cude Supply Gives Black Liquid a Boost By

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By Gina Lee – Oil was down Thursday morning in Asia, even as a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude oil supplies gave the black liquid a boost.

were down 0.42% to $68.44 by 10:13 PM ET (2:13 AM GMT) and fell 0.44% to $65.92.

Wednesday’s showed a draw of 1.662 million barrels for the week to May 21. Forecasts prepared by had predicted a 1.05-million-barrel draw, while a 426,000-barrel draw was recorded during the previous week.

the day before showed a draw of 439,000 barrels.

Meanwhile, the also reported a 1.745-million-barrel draw in . It also indicated that U.S. fuel demand is progressing towards a return to pre-COVID-19 consumption levels.

“Every data point in the (EIA) report was bullish to some degree,” with inventory declines across the board,” Tortoise portfolio manager Matt Sallee told Bloomberg.

That reinforces the view that “the U.S. is leading the recovery globally, while U.S. producers remaining restrained,” he added.

Across the Atlantic, road usage in the U.K. matched the highest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investors also continue to monitor talks between Iran and the U.S. to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that could add Iranian crude supply to the market should the U.S. lift its current sanctions. The talks will continue in Vienna throughout the week.

Meanwhile, ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in several countries, including the world’s third-largest oil importer India, are putting a damper on the fuel demand outlook. Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria will enter a one-week lockdown, starting later in the day, due to its latest outbreak.

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