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By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com — U.S. crude stockpiles fell for a second straight week, the API reported Wednesday, just as many are growing nervous about the demand outlook amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in China.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, traded at $78.78 a barrel following the report after settling down 57 cents at $78.96 a barrel.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.3 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 23. That compared with a draw of 3.069M barrels reported by the API for the previous week.
The inventory draw comes as surging COVID infections in China, the largest global crude importer, are expected to weigh on economic activity, travel, and ultimately demand.
The API data, however, also showed a build in gasoline inventories of 510,000 barrels last week, and distillate stocks by 388,000 barrels.
The official government inventory report due Thursday is expected to show weekly U.S. crude supplies fell by about 1.52M barrels last week.