As states slowly begin the process of reopening, fears of a secondary outbreak of COVID-19 coupled with rising domestic crude oil inventories halted an energy price advance and sent prices lower.
Brent crude prices fell this week by 5 percent, and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) declined by 6 percent after briefly trading above $40 per barrel. Domestic commercial crude stocks rose by a more than expected 5.7 million barrels to reach a record 538 million barrels. Similarly, U.S. gasoline stockpiles reached 259 million barrels as busier summer driving season is expected to see fewer drivers on the road and a massive reduction in commuting demand.
Prices have corrected lower despite the recent OPEC+ announcement that output will continue to curb production this year and next. Rolling monthly stocks of gasoline are at record levels and should fall more slowly this summer than we have seen historically due to decreased demand as work-from-home orders continue into their fourth month.
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