US figures spark oil price rebound

Wednesday 22 June 2011 17.17
Oil prices - Signs of stronger US demand
Oil prices - Signs of stronger US demand

World oil prices rebounded this evening, reversing earlier losses on news of falling petrol inventories in the United States and ahead of the US central bank's interest rate decision and outlook.

London Brent jumped $2.34 to $113.29 a barrel, while US crude added 46 cents to $94.63 a barrel.

Petrol stockpiles fell by 500,000 barrels in the week ending June 17, the US government's Department of Energy (DoE) announced. That compared with analysts' forecasts for a gain of 800,000 barrels.

Petrol figures are closely watched in the US peak-demand driving season, as many Americans hit the road for their holidays.

Crude reserves sank 1.7 million barrels last week, much more than forecasts for a drop of 800,000 barrels. The drops in reserves are a sign of strengthening demand.

The weekly report is a crucial focus for the the oil market because the US is the world's biggest crude consuming nation. The DoE added that distillates, which include diesel and heating fuel, rose 1.2 million barrels last week.