Crude oil futures closed in the red on Thursday (Jan. 20) after prices rose sharply in recent days and crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased last week. However, political tensions between the U.S. and Russia continue to support the market.
- WTI crude futures were down 6 cents, or 0.1%, at $86.90 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were down 6 cents, or 0.1%, at $88.38 a barrel.
According to the EIA, US crude oil inventories rose by 500,000 barrels last week. This is in line with the API report, according to which U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels last week. However, a drop of 900k barrels was expected. The week before, the inventory had fallen by 4.5M barrels.
The gasoline inventory also continues to rise. Last week, the inventory increased by 5.8M barrels whereas an increase of only 2.6M was forecast. The week before, inventories had already risen by nearly 8M barrels.
Cushing crude oil inventory, on the other hand, fell by 1.3M barrels.
Oil markets, however, were supported by tensions between the U.S. and Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden has threatened Russia with financial and economic sanctions and other measures, including a ban on the use of the dollar if Russia invades Ukraine.
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