Crude Oil Post Consecutive Increases, Demand Improves


Crude oil futures were little changed on Friday after they rose for a second week in a row amid improved demand and falling inventories of US oil, the world's biggest oil consumer.

Brent crude fell 18 cents to $85.53 a barrel after rising 0.8% in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for August fell 14 cents to $81.15 a barrel from $82.17 previously.

The increase in seasonal demand as shown by EIA data reflecting the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and the hurricane season is able to maintain the price strength until the summer.

US government data released on Thursday showed the number of products supplied in the country's oil demand rose by 1.9 million barrels per day last week.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed US crude oil stockpiles rose by 2.5 million barrels this week to 457.1 million barrels compared to market expectations.

Gasoline inventories fell by 2.3 million barrels to 231.2 million barrels compared to forecasts for a build of 600,000 barrels. Demand prospects elsewhere also helped lift prices.

Data released on Friday showed Japan's core consumer prices in May rose 2.5% from a year earlier. It grew from the previous month and kept the country's central bank on track to raise interest rates in the coming months.

Crude oil prices are currently holding up based on US economic data on monetary policy setting. The latest economic report caused the Federal Reserve (Fed) to maintain interest rates to limit economic growth and oil demand.