Crude oil settles down as US Fed holds rates steady

Crude oil prices were little changed Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the central bank will hold interest rates steady, Kallanish Energy reports.

Brent crude futures were down 29 cents, or 0.47%, to $61.85 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled down 14 cents, or 0.3%, to $53.76/Bbl.

Government data showed U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected, while the prospect of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing also supported prices.

After weeks of growing, U.S. crude stocks fell by 3.11 million barrels (Mmbbl) in the week ended June 14, compared with analysts’ expectations for a drawdown of 1.1 Mmbbl, the Energy Information Administration said. (See story elsewhere in this issue.)

Gasoline demand was a record for the weekly data, at 9.99 million barrels a day (Mmbpd) last week. That is up from 9.3 Mmbpd a year ago, and also was up from 9.88 Mmbpd used during the week ended June 7.

Comments by President Trump that preparations were starting for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, also helped oil prices.

Tensions remain high in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the U.S. have risen, with Washington blaming Tehran, which has denied any role.

Members of Opec have agreed to meet on July 1, followed by a meeting with non-Opec allies, a combination known as Opec+, on July 2.

Opec+  members will discuss whether to extend a deal for cutting 1.2 Mmbpd of production, which expires June 30.

This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.