Investing.com – Oil prices struggled for gains in European trade on Thursday, holding near the prior session’s three-month lows after U.S. government data revealed a surprise build in crude and gasoline inventories last week.
for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell to a session low of $41.86 a barrel. It was last at $41.91 by 08:01GMT, or 4:01AM ET, down 1 cent, or 0.02%.
, New York-traded oil sank to $41.68, a level not seen since April 20, following the release of bearish weekly data on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.
The Energy Information Administration said that rose by a surprising 1.7 million barrels last week to 521.1 million barrels, which the EIA considered to be “historically high levels for this time of year”.
The report also showed that increased by 452,000 barrels. Despite being in the midst of the peak summer-driving season in the U.S., gasoline stocks are well above the upper limit of the average range, according to the EIA.
U.S. oil has been under pressure in recent weeks as signs of an ongoing recovery in U.S. drilling activity combined with elevated stocks of fuel products weighed.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, for October delivery inched down 5 cents, or 0.11%, to $43.86 a barrel, after falling to a more than three-month low of $43.72 on Wednesday.
London-traded Brent futures have been under pressure recently as prospects of increased exports from Libya and Iraq added to concerns that a glut of oil products will cut demand for crude by refiners.
Oil prices are down nearly 17% since peaking above $50 in early June, as high inventories of gasoline products cloud the future outlook for crude.
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