Crude oil trading alert: the dollar is strong oil prices approaching the 80 mark, Putin's "official announcement" shocked the world
At the beginning of the Asian session, U.S. oil was trading near $82.68 per barrel; oil prices fell nearly 1.5% to a nearly two-week low on Wednesday, as U.S. crude inventories increased and after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points and signaled further massive rate hikes to curb inflation, which could reduce economic activity and oil demand.
Intraday focus on the U.S. initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 17.
Positive and negative factors affecting oil prices
[U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels].
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that U.S. crude oil and fuel inventories rose in the latest week as refineries increased refining to replenish low oil stocks.
Crude oil inventories rose 1.1 million barrels to 430.8 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 16, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.2 million barrel increase. The increase in inventories was mainly due to another large release of strategic reserves by the U.S., which reached 6.9 million barrels last week.
Refineries also increased activity, boosting refining volumes by 333,000 barrels per day, with capacity utilization up 2.1 percentage points to 93.6 percent of total capacity. Distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, increased by 1.2 million barrels to 117.3 million barrels. Industry professionals have been concerned about low distillate inventory levels as refiners take advantage of high margins to export to Europe, where diesel and heating oil are needed.
U.S. gasoline inventories increased 1.6 million barrels this week to 214.6 million barrels. Overall product supply, which represents U.S. demand, continues to decline, with the four-week average level of gasoline product supply 7.7 percent lower than a year ago.
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