West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures are trading just above $101 per barrel in commodities trading markets today (July 30th).
This has come after an official government report showed US fuel stockpiles rose for a ninth successive week and it was revealed the country's second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was higher than anticipated.
While the Energy Information Administration figures demonstrated increases in inventories for gasoline and diesel, crude stockpiles dropped by 3.7 million barrels in the week ending July 25th. The consensus estimate was for a decline of 1.25 million barrels.
Crude supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma – the key delivery point for US crude oil contracts – increased by 365,000 barrels to 218.2 million, which is the highest level recorded since March 14th.
Production in the country dipped by 122,000 barrels to 8.44 million per day. Output has increased significantly this year, with a combination of horizontal drilling and fracking helping to unlock shale supplies.
Prices have been also been supported after a report from the Commerce Department showed the US economy expanded at an annualised pace of four per cent in the second quarter.
This follows a 2.1 per cent GDP contraction in the three months to the end of March and beat expectations for a gain of three per cent. In today's report, the Q1 loss has been reduced from the 2.9 per cent drop previously reported.
The above-estimate result was largely driven by a 2.5 per cent rise in consumer spending, which is responsible for more than two-thirds of economic activity in the US. Durable goods purchases increased by the most in close to five years.
Following the release of the report, WTI for September delivery added seven cents for the session to $101.04 per barrel on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was earlier as high as $101.44 prior to the publication of the figures in Washington.