Crude Oil Gains As Stocks Data Not As Bad As Feared

Crude oil is higher this morning despite news from the US Energy dept. yesterday pegging US stocks 1.65 million barrels higher at just over 361 million barrels. That was the 24th increase in the last 28 weeks, taking US stocks to their highest levels since 1993.

The market is actually viewing the data as not as bad as was feared. The American Petroleum Institute had said Tuesday that stockpiles jumped by 6.94 million barrels to the highest since 1990.

Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, fell 878,000 barrels to 29.98 million last week, the lowest since the week ended Dec. 26.

Stocks are still huge, and consumption is still falling. Daily fuel demand was down 4.4% from a year ago, with the last four weeks posting the lowest fuel consumption since October, according to the report.

With US stocks still so high, Brent crude is running at around a $2/barrel premium to WTI at the moment. At 10.30am BST WTI was $1.51 higher at $50.89/barrel with Brent having reached as much as $1.89 higher to 53.48/barrel.