Oil Prices Slide on U.S. Gasoline Stock Build

Oil prices slipped on Thursday after U.S. government data showed that gasoline stocks and distillate inventories rose last week, although falls were checked by continuing Middle East geopolitical tensions.  U.S. July crude CLc1 edged down 16 cents at $59.76 a barrel as of 2140 ET after falling 5 cents in the previous session.

Brent August crude LCOc1 shed 8 cents at $63.79 a barrel after it settled 17 cents higher on Wednesday at $63.87.  Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories USOILC=ECI fell by 2.7 million barrels to 467.93 million last week, more than analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 1.7 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI rose by 460,000 barrels, more than analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 314,000-barrel drop but far less than the fall of 2.9 million barrels reported by the API.  Tropical Depression Bill drenched large parts of Texas on Wednesday, but oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico and near the coast were unaffected by the storm. Refineries also operated normally.