After falling over 3 percent the previous day, oil prices were slightly higher to slightly lower on Thursday. This was due to signs of an increase in U.S. inventories.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were slightly higher at $82.88/barrel, while WTI crude futures were up 0.3% at $76.69 with some support from a weaker US dollar.
The dollar dropped to its lowest level in more than nine months following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’sdovish comments at a press conference. It sparked expectations that the Fed may begin to reduce rates before 2024.
On Wednesday, data from Energy Information Administration (EIA), showed that crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased by 4.1 Million barrels last week. This was a sixth consecutive week of increases. Analysts expected inventories to increase by 0.4 million barrels last Wednesday.
In the last week, gasoline inventories rose by 2.6 million barrels while distillate stocks rose by 2.3million barrels. This suggests that there is weak demand.
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Investors were disappointed by the OPEC+ decision not to change their output policy, even though it was expected.