Brent crude oil dropped to $103 per barrel on Wednesday, after data showing a surprise jump in U.S. gasoline stockpiles sparked worries that summer demand in the world’s top oil consumer could be weaker than expected.
Reuters report yesterday showed that Brent crude oil futures fell 77 cents to $103.14 per barrel by 1435 GMT, after shedding nearly a dollar in the previous session. U.S. crude lost $1.22 cents to $94.96.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that gasoline inventories rose by 3 million barrels last week, suggesting the U.S. domestic fuel market was well supplied for the peak driving season, in line with data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.
But a slight weakening of the dollar from 34-month highs helped steady oil, which tends to move inversely to the U.S. currency.
“Oil fundamentals are weakening with less demand than expected and better supplies,” said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.