Crude oil prices rallied to fresh five-month highs of $62.58, with the move helped by API’s inventory report on Tuesday, which revealed a 1.5 million barrel draw in stocks. EIA data was also strong showing a larger draw than expected. The dollar edged lower helping crude oil prices as weaker than expected payroll data reduced the demand for the greenback.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 3.9 million barrels from the previous week, compared to the 1 million expected by analysis. At 487.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are at the highest level for this time of year in at least the last 80 years. Gasoline inventories increased by 0.4 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels last week and are in the middle of the average range for this time of year.
Demand remains solid. Total products demand over the last four-week period averaged 19.0 million barrels per day, up by 2.8% from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, gasoline demand averaged 9.0 million barrels per day, up by 3.9% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand averaged 3.9 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 4.3% from the same period last year. Jet fuel demand is up 12.4% compared to the same four-week period last year.
Jobs data was softer than expected. The U.S. ADP private payroll survey showed jobs rose 169k in April, disappointing expectations. March’s 189k gain was nudged down to 175k. The goods producing sector lost 1k jobs, while services added 170k. Construction jobs rose 23k, but manufacturing jobs declined 10k. Financial and accounting added only 7k. Professional and business services employment rose 34k. And trade, transportation, utilities jobs increased 44k. Small firms added 94k workers, but large firms added only 5k. The lean 169k April ADP rise undershot the 210k private payroll forecast, with a 220k total nonfarm payroll estimate likely to move lower over the next few days prior to the BLS report on Friday.
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