Oil prices up with demand increase in US

Oil prices up with demand increase in US

Decrease in crude oil and gasoline stockpiles during summer months, when vehicle traffic is at its height, drives up oil prices

By Zeynep Beyza Kilic

Oil prices increased on Thursday with data showing a demand surge in the US, the world's largest oil consumer, and with the depreciation of the US dollar.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $83.81 per barrel at 10 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), a 0.43% rise from the closing price of $83.45 per barrel on Wednesday.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at the same time at $79.66 per barrel, up 0.35% from Wednesday's session close of $79.38 per barrel.

Crude oil inventories fell by around 6 million barrels to 439.7 million barrels, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday. Similarly, gasoline inventories declined by 300,000 barrels to 216.2 million barrels over the same period.

The decrease in crude oil and gasoline stocks over the summer months, when vehicle travel is at an all-time high, signaled a surge in demand in the country, supporting the rise in oil prices.

The weakening of the US dollar against other currencies also aided the rise in oil costs. The US dollar index, which measures the US dollar's value against other currencies, fell 0.04% to 103.277. The weak dollar is expected to enhance demand by making oil cheaper for buyers who use foreign currencies.

Meanwhile, the slowdown in economic growth in China, the world's largest oil importer, and the expectation of further interest rate hikes in the US limited price rises.

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