Oil prices saw their rise slowed on Wednesday after US data showing strong growth in gasoline reserves in the United States, an ominous sign for demand.
A barrel of Brent from the North Sea for August delivery ended at 72.22 dollars in London, as on Tuesday.
In New York, a barrel of WTI for the month of July fell 0.13% or 9 cents to $ 69.96.
Brent and WTI had reached the previous day at the close of highs since May 2019 and October 2018.
Up at the start of the US session, prices were nosedived after the publication of weekly figures from the US Energy Agency (EIA), revealing a jump in gasoline stocks of 7 million barrels on June 4, although more than the $ 1.2 million increase expected.
Reserves of distilled products have also increased sharply (+4.4 million barrels).
“Lower implicit demand for gasoline and distillates has resulted in their inventory building solidly, offsetting the upward impact of lower crude inventories,” commented Matt Smith of ClipperData.
Commercial crude reserves in the United States have indeed fallen by 5.2 million barrels.
Before the publication of the EIA report, however, the market was trending higher “on signals of increasing demand” for crude, said Richard Hunter, an analyst at Interactive Investor.
“Road traffic is picking up in developed economies due to the relaxation of restrictions and the traditional summer driving season in the United States is expected to be stronger than usual, as an offsetting effect.”, he added.