On Thursday, oil prices of benchmark grades went down after data released by the US Department of Energy showed a significant increase in gasoline stocks in the country last week, Interfax reports.
The cost of June futures for Brent oil on the London ICE Futures exchange by 8:07 a.m. Kyiv time on Thursday was $62.81 per barrel, which is $0.35 (0.55%) below the price at the close of the previous session. As a result of trading on Wednesday, these contracts went up by $0.42 (0.7%) to $63.16 per barrel.
The price of May futures for WTI in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) by this time was $59.41 per barrel, which is $0.36 (0.6%) below the level at the close of the previous session. On Wednesday, the value of these contracts rose by $0.44 (0.7%) to $59.77 per barrel.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Energy announced a decline in oil stocks in the country by 3.52 million barrels last week. However, gasoline stocks rose by 4.04 million barrels – more than analysts expected, S&P Global Platts writes.
Avtar Sandu, senior commodity manager at Phillip Futures, said the increase in gasoline stocks raises concerns that an increase in COVID-19 cases could further diminish the outlook for demand.
However, some analysts believe that the increase in gasoline stocks could be due to a surge in imports ahead of the summer travel season in the US when fuel demand usually rises.
Meanwhile, the rise in the incidence of coronavirus in some large countries continues to cause concern for investors.
Besides, there are concerns about the situation around the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The UK Government's Vaccine Advisory Group (JCVI) has recommended that AstraZeneca should not be given to people younger than 30 years of age due to post-vaccination thrombosis, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has concluded that the risk of blood clots should be included in the list of rare side effects of this vaccine.