Crude oil prices where nearly unchanged on Thursday but are higher on Friday despite a larger than expected build in crude oi inventories released on Thursday by the Department of Energy. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 7.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 468.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain near levels not seen for this time of year in at least the last 80 years. Analysts had expected inventories to climb by 2.5 million barrels.
Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.6 million barrels last week, while distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.5 million barrels last week but are in the middle of the average range for this time of year.
Total products demand the last four-week period averaged over 19.5 million barrels per day, up by 1.2% from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, gasoline demand averaged 9.1 million barrels per day, up by 3.4% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand averaged 4.0 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up by 5.4% from the same period last year. Jet fuel demand is up 5.5% compared to the same four-week period last year.
Crude prices found support near an upward sloping trend line at 45.50, and held the 20-day moving average at 46.47. Resistance is the October highs at 50.96.