Oil prices experience decline in Asian trade
Oil prices were lower in Asia Thursday following a mixed U. S. energy report and after the US Federal Reserve signaled it would keep its near- zero benchmark interest rates unchanged for now, analysts said.
U. S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery fell 21 cents to US$ 59.71 while Brent crude for August was down 10 cents at US$ 63.77 in afternoon trade.
The U. S. Department
in- ventory report for the week to June 12 showed Wednesday that crude reserves fell 2.7 million barrels, the seventh straight weekly decline.
However, crude supplies at the closely watched trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 100,000 barrels.
The data also showed American oil production at 9.59 million barrels per day, down a scant 21,000 from last week’s record high.
Dealers have been hoping that a drawdown of the United States’ burgeoning re- serves during the summer months, coupled with a slowdown in its shale output, could whittle down excess global supplies.
A surplus of American stocks was one of the reasons oil prices collapsed by more than 50 percent between June and January.
Crude investors are also digesting the Fed’s indication on Wednesday after a two- day policy meeting that it will maintain near- zero interest rates for now and adopt a cautious and methodical approach to raising them later in the year.