Oil climbs on economic outlook, fuel stocks drawdown
Crude oil prices rose on Thursday as vaccine rollouts boosted the economic outlook. U.S. fuel stockpile dropped, but gains were capped by a spike in crude oil stocks following a storm in Texas last month.
Brent crude oil futures for May delivery gained 0.8%, or 55 cents, at $68.45 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April contract rose 0.8%, or 52 cents, at $64.96 per barrel.
U.S. gasoline stocks dropped by 11.9 million barrels to 231.6 million barrels in the week ended March 5, contrary to analysts’ expectations for a 3.5 million-barrel decline.
However, crude inventories climbed by 13.8 million barrels to 498.4 million barrels in the week ended March 5, contrary to analysts’ expectation for an 816,00-barrel surge. The U.S. oil industry is still recovering from the effect of a winter storm in February, which affected production in Texas.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a massive $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package, giving President Joe Biden his first major victory in office.