Oil slipped back below $100 a barrel as investors assessed signs of lackluster US gasoline demand and expanding stockpiles, Bloomberg reports.
After ending almost 1% lower on Wednesday, West Texas Intermediate for September retreated again in Asian trading.
According to a US government report, stockpiles of the fuel rose more than expected last week, while a four-week rolling average shows high prices crimped consumption to only just above the same time two years ago, and below every other year since 2000.
After rallying for most of the first half following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, oil prices have been dragged lower in recent weeks by fears of recession and central bank tightening. Futures are on course for their first back-to-back monthly loss in July since 2020 despite signs physical markets remain tight.
“Gasoline demand in the US didn’t show strength despite the Northern Hemisphere still being in peak-consumption season,” said Gao Jian, a Shandong-based analyst at Zhaojin Futures Co.. “As peak-demand season enters a turning point and global economic growth slows, the market should be on sustained watch for risk of weakening oil products’ demand.”