(Bloomberg) — Oil was steady in Asian trading after an industry report pointed to another decline in US crude stockpiles, adding to a bullish outlook.
Futures in New York traded near $73 a barrel after edging lower on Tuesday. The American Petroleum Institute reported crude inventories dropped by 7.2 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data. If confirmed by government figures due later Wednesday, that would be a fifth straight weekly draw, the longest run of declines since January.
Key energy markets including the US and China have seen a strong rebound from Covid-19, boosting fuel consumption and helping to drain bloated inventories built up during the pandemic. The OPEC+ alliance is scheduled to meet next week to discuss its production policy and some nations , most notably Russia, are considering a potential output increase.
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The prompt timespread for Brent was 73 cents a barrel in backwardation — where near-dated contracted are more expensive than later-dated ones — on Tuesday. The bullish structure eased from 85 cents on Monday.
Stockpiles at the key US storage hub of Cushing fell last week, while fuel inventories including gasoline rose, the API said. The Energy Information Administration is forecast to report on Wednesday that nationwide crude stockpiles slid by 3.5 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg survey.
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