NEW YORK, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices eked out modest gains on Thursday as traders continued to digest a mixed U.S. fuel inventory report.
The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery added 33 cents to settle at 70.29 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for August delivery increased 30 cents to close at 72.52 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 5.2 million barrels during the week ending June 4, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday. That was larger than the average decline of 4.1 million barrels forecast by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts.
The EIA report also showed total motor gasoline inventories increased 7 million barrels and distillate fuel inventories rose by 4.4 percent last week.
"US crude oil stocks fell by an unexpectedly steep 5.2 million barrels. However, stocks of gasoline and distillates increased much more sharply than anticipated," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Thursday.
"It is above all the rise in gasoline stocks - the most pronounced week-on-week rise since the pandemic-induced increase in April 2020 - that is causing confusion on the market because the main reason for the latest upswing in oil prices was the expectation of a massive surge in (gasoline) demand," he said.