Oil futures were little changed on Thursday, supported with a fall in U.S. unemployment and Wednesday’s drawdown in crude inventories, nevertheless the spike in U.S. coronavirus infections fanned concerns that economic activity will weaken in coming weeks.
New COVID-19 cases in the United States rose by nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, based on a Reuters tally, the greatest one-day spike since the start of pandemic.
Numerous states are advising citizens to restrict movements and closing, The Economic Times reports.
Brent crude futures gained 10 cents to trade at $42.13 a barrel by 11:17 a.m. EDT (1517 GMT), after rising 1.8% in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost 18 cents to $39.64 a barrel after a 1.4% rise on Wednesday.
U.S. crude inventories fell 7.2 million barrels from a record high a week ago, far more than analysts had expected, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed, as refiners ramped up production and imports eased.
Gasoline stockpiles were higher, however, and the spike in cases in heavily populated U.S. Sun Belt states, on the list of country’s biggest consumers of gasoline, could hit fuel demand headed into the July 4 holiday weekend, normally a busy period for road travel.