By Saket Sundria and Alex Longley
The American Petroleum Institute reported that inventories rose by 2.05 million barrels last week, people with knowledge of the data said ahead of official figures to be published later on Wednesday. Gasoline inventories declined, the API numbers showed, potentially allaying some fears over the health of fuel demand.
Crude has been steady this week as traders weigh the reintroduction of virus-control measures on the one hand and stimulus by many governments to bolster their economies on the other. Oil market volatility has tumbled and trading volumes have fallen by about a third since the start of this month. Prices have been supported by OPEC+’s record output cuts so far, but those are scheduled to be eased starting next month.
“Investors are currently in wait-and-see mode with regards to increased cases in the U.S.,” said Kevin Solomon, an energy analyst at brokerage StoneX Group Inc. “OPEC+ will continue to follow the pre-announced cuts as demand is currently anemic.”
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose 1.8% from a day earlier to 2.96 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. European officials warned that the impact of the pandemic may be worse than previously estimated and that the recovery may take longer because of a slow easing of restrictions.
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