UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Oil prices eased on Thursday, paring earlier gains as it is under pressure from worries about the global economy and a bigger-than-expected rise in oil product inventories in the world’s top consumer.
Brent crude futures were down 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $ 60.14 a barrel by 0634 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $ 55.58 a barrel.
“Oil markets continue to move lower after a sudden increase in US fuel stocks,” said Stephen Ince, managing partner at Valor Markets.
The US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that gasoline and distillate inventories rose more-than-expected last week, as crude stocks fell as refineries raised production.
Investors are worried about the prospects for global oil demand, especially in light of trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers and consumers.
Oil traders, along with the stock and bond markets, are eyeing a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday at an economic conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which may indicate whether the central bank will continue to cut interest rates and ease monetary policy.
Meanwhile, oil markets are receiving some support from growing tensions between the United States and Iran, after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that if Iran’s oil exports stopped completely, international waterways would not be as secure as before.
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