Oil prices dropped in Wednesday’s trading but the slide could have been greater had it not been for a turnaround in the U.S. stock market and a draw on U.S. crude supplies.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 14 cents and settled for the day on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $63.37 per barrel on May futures.
Brent crude on London’s ICE Europe exchange ended the day down a dime before settling at $68.02 on June futures.
Natural gas on the NYMEX added a penny and finished the day at $2.71 per Mmbtu.
Oil prices slipped then rebounded as refinery crude runs were up by 141,000 barrels a day according to information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The original slip in oil prices was attributed to China’s proposed broad range of tariffs on U.S. exports.
Both Brent and U.S. crude slid to two-week lows after China announced tariffs on 150 U.S. products, in reaction to the Trump administration’s plan to levy tariffs on $50 billion of its goods.
But when a 4.617 million barrel weekly crude oil draw occurred, buyers were encouraged in WTI. However, the amount of oil at the Cushing storage hub in northern Oklahoma kep prices from climbing even higher. Refiners were drawing on some crude supplies but there was also a 3.666 million barrel increase at Cushing, resulting in a negative settlement for the day’s crude prices.