Oil futures rose for the second straight day on Thursday amidst conjecture that U.S. fuel demand is likely to grow, Bloomberg reports.
A U.S. Energy Department report indicated gasoline stockpiles last week dropped by 7 million barrels to 209.7 million, representing the largest decline since October 1998.
"The talk is that this U.S. inventory report saw a spectacular draw in gasoline, and that prompted the buying," Victor Shum, a senior principal at consultants Purvin & Gertz in Singapore, told the news service. "The bounce is mainly a rebound from the sharp correction of a couple of days ago."
Shortly after 1 p.m. on Thursday, Brent crude oil futures slipped 0.38 percent, a 0.47 cent drop to $121.86 per barrel. Gasoline futures also were down, falling 0.23 percent, a 0.0074 cent dive to $3.235 per gallon.
"Despite the positive demand signal, the market remained concerned over potential demand destruction due to rising retail gas prices," according to a Thursday email from Mark Pervan, head of commodity research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne.