Teeter-tottering oil prices


A day after modest losses, U.S. crude oil futures for August on Tuesday slipped slightly but still remained close to the $41 a barrel level as prices teeter-tottered.

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped a penny or 0.02% and settled at $40.62 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Experts blamed the downturn on continuing worries of the  coronvirus pandemic.

However, there is apparent optimism that this week’s report on U.S. crude inventories will also show a decline for a second consecutive week.

Global benchmark Brent oil for September dropped 2 cents or 0.05% to $43.08 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected to release a report on Wednesday about demands covering the weekend ended July 3.

On average, the EIA is expected to report a decline of 3.7 million barrels in crude stockpiles for last week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts reported Market Watch. That would mark a second-straight weekly fall. They also forecast supply declines of 1.2 million barrels for gasoline and 500,000 barrels for distillates.

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