Oil strengthened and continued to linger above US$94 a barrel on Thursday in Asia on report of an unexpected fall in crude stockpiles in USA amid stronger retail sales. Oil on the Nymex inched up to US$94.4, its highest level since mid-May. Brent crude inched up to US$114.3 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
The US Energy Department reported a 3.7 mln barrel fall in inventories last week to 366.2 mln barrels, suggesting stronger demand. Better-than-expected U.S. retail sales for July indicate that Americans are spending, adding to expectations that oil demand would increase. The EIA added that gasoline inventories slid 2.4 mln barrels.