Oil prices steadied on Thursday after a twoday slump, reflecting the worlds mixed economic recovery from the pandemic, with U.S. demand expected to keep rising, while a second coronavirus wave raging in India has led to more curbs on movement.
Brent crude was up 18 cents, or 0.3, at 66.84 a barrel by 0527 GMT, having fallen 3 on Wednesday. U.S. oil gained 37 cents, or 0.6, to 63.73 a barrel, after a 3.3 drop in the previous session.
U.S. gasoline demand is holding up well ahead of the driving season, ANZ Research said in a note. Also, U.S. airport footfalls increased to 1.85 million, boding well for jet fuel demand.
Crude inventories in the United States increased by 1.3 million barrels last week, against analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.6 millionbarrel rise.
Gasoline stocks were down by 2 million barrels, compared with predictions of an 886,000barrel fall. Gasoline product supplied, a measure of demand, rose 5 to 9.2 million barrels per day, though this was partly followon demand from the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.
Still Indias falling fuel demand is likely to worsen in May due to movement restrictions, ANZ said.
Almost twothirds of people tested in Indian show exposure to the coronavirus, suggesting a spiraling spread of the virus as the daily death toll rose to a record 4,529.
The decline in prices this week was given added impetus on Wednesday after media reports said the U.S. and Iran have made progress in talks over Tehrans nuclear program…