"We were overdue a little bit of profit-taking and the build up in gasoline inventories was the flawless excuse to do just that", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at brokerage CMC Markets.
New Delhi, Dec 6 Crude oil futures fell by Rs 26 to Rs 3,698 per barrel today as speculators reduced their positions amid a weakening trend overseas.
Oil prices edge up on expected drop in US crude stocks " That's a pretty bearish number on gasoline", Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors in Houston, said by telephone.
EIA data, once it's released, will help determine the direction for crude oil prices for the rest of the trading day and into Thursday morning.
On December 5, 2017, the API (American Petroleum Institute) published its crude oil inventory report. US refineries produced about 9.8 million barrels of gasoline a day last week, down about 400,000 barrels a day compared to the prior week.
Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by 1.951 million barrels this week. Traders were looking for a draw of about 3.5 million barrels. Total volume traded was about 8% below the 100-day average. The API report showed an increase of 9.196 million barrels, compared to forecasts of a much smaller 1.145-million-barrel build.
Distillate inventories, too, saw a build this week, up 4.259 million barrels, against a forecast of a 548,000-barrel build. Exports of refined products fell by 875,000 barrels a day last week to 5.04 million barrels a day.
"This bears all the hallmarks of a year-end lull in US fuel demand, which in turn should help safeguard the current bout of range-bound trading", said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.in London.
The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEARCA: OIH) traded down about 1.3%, at $24.66 in a 52-week range of $21.70 to $36.35.