Oil prices slid on Thursday after data showed an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories.
U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures slid 0.3% to $59.23 by 12:30 AM ET (04:30 GMT). International Brent Crude Futures was down 0.2% to $67.13.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. crude stocks increased by 2.8 million barrels last week. Markets previously expected a decrease of 1.2 million barrels.
The data disappointed oil bulls counting on a third-straight week of draws after a total inventory slide of nearly 14 million barrels in the two previous weeks.
The EIA also reported that gasoline inventories fell by 2.88 million barrels, compared with expectations for a draw of 2.78 million barrels. Distillate stockpiles dropped by 2.08 million barrels, compared with forecasts for a decline of 0.9 million.
Despite today’s fall, Oil prices managed to rebound in March and have rallied about 25% since the beginning of the year. Lower-than-expected supply both in the OPEC and the U.S. were cited as supporting oil markets.
Crude oil production from the OPEC was down 1.5mbpd year-on-year to 30.5mbpd in February. Meanwhile, U.S. oil production stagnated at around 11.9mbpd for four consecutive months since last November.
“We remain positive in further moderate recovery in oil price given possible trade agreement between US and China which would support recovery in global economic growth in 2H19,” ICBC International Research Limited said in a note.