Oil Prices Mixed Tuesday Ahead of Stockpile Data

© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan – Oil prices settled mixed Tuesday, with U.S. crude losing more than 1% on worries about a likely build in domestic crude stockpiles last week amid an explosion in new coronavirus cases in the United States and other world hotspots.

Analysts think the Energy Information Administration will report on Wednesday that rose by 357,000 barrels for the week ended July 24, adding to the previous week’s 4.9 million-barrel build.

This is despite expectations for a 733,000-barrel decline in and a 267,000-barrel drop in , largely made up of diesel.

In the previous week, gasoline balances tumbled by 1.8 million barrels and distillates rose 1.07 million.

The EIA numbers will be preceded by industry group American Petroleum Institute’s own data on inventories. API’s figures normally serve as precursor for the official data. On Tuesday, the API report said oil inventories fell 6.8 million barrels.

New York-traded , the benchmark for U.S. crude futures, settled down 56 cents, or 1.3%, at $41.04 per barrel.

London-traded , the bellwether for global crude prices, rose 19 cents, or 0.4%, to end the regular U.S. session at $43.22.

“Oil prices are being weighed down on coronavirus resurgence in Europe and Asia,” said Ed Moya, an analyst at New York’s OANDA. “Germany is concerned infections from a farm in Bavaria are spreading, while China sees the most local cases in at least four months as resurgences occur in the western and northeastern regions.”

Germany’s new number of daily Covid-19 cases, which dropped to around 500 a day in recent weeks, was back above 800 from Friday, data showed.

In China, 61 infections were reported Monday, the biggest flare-up since Beijing all but contained the epic flare-up in its Wuhan district in March.

The United States, meanwhile, edged closer to a single-day coronavirus infection record with more than 74,000 new cases Friday, approaching the mark set just one week ago.

More than 1,000 Americans have died each day between Tuesday and Friday, the worst tally of human loss since late May. The total U.S. case count is approaching 4.5 million while deaths have crossed 151,000.

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