(Bloomberg) — Oil edged higher after an industry report pointed to a decline in U.S. fuel and crude stockpiles, adding to signs of a tightening market.
Futures in New York rose 0.4% to trade near $72 a barrel after slipping for a second session on Tuesday. The American Petroleum Institute reported gasoline inventories slid by 6.23 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the figures. That would be the biggest draw in motor fuel stockpiles since March if confirmed by government data later Wednesday.
Global inventories are expected to tighten through the rest of the year as key energy consumers continue to rebound from the pandemic, although the latest resurgence in Covid-19 is raising concerns about the short-term demand outlook. The fast-spreading delta variant has led to renewed restrictions in some regions, with oil set for only the second monthly loss since October.
The prompt timespread for was 96 cents a barrel in backwardation — a bullish market structure where near-dated contracts are more expensive than later-dated ones — on Tuesday. That compares with 58 cents a week earlier.
inventories fell by 4.73 million barrels last week, the API said. That would be the ninth draw in 10 weeks if confirmed by the Energy Information Administration Administration. Stockpiles will drop by 2.5 million barrels, a Bloomberg survey shows.
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