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Crude Prices Hold Above $80 as Stockpiles Go Down

U.S. crude oil held firm on Wednesday after domestic stockpiles fell more than expected.

In the U.S., commercial crude oil inventories, which exclude the strategic petroleum reserve, fell by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to data released by the Energy Information Agency, compared to the 543,000 barrel draw expected in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Oil prices fell earlier in the session after the International Energy Agency cuts its global demand growth forecast by 140,000 bpd to 1.1 million barrels per day as demand softened in developed economies in the first quarter.

West Texas Intermediate June contract: $78.06 a barrel, up five cents. Year to date, U.S. crude oil has gained about 9%.

Brent July contract: $82.36 a barrel, down 2 cents. Year to date, the global benchmark has gained about 7%.

RBOB Gasoline June contract: $2.48 a gallon, up 0.9%. Year to date, gasoline futures have gained 18%

Natural Gas June contract: $2.34 per thousand cubic feet, up 0.09%. Year to date, gas has lost about 6.64%.

Global crude inventories surged in March by 34.6 million barrels as trade disruptions pushed oil on water to a post pandemic high, according to the IEA. Oil deliveries have been rerouted this year due to attacks by Yemen-based Houthi militants on shipping through the Red Sea.

Inventories continued to build in April as oil on water was discharged to land, leading to an increase in onshore stockpiles, according to the IEA

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