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Crude oil futures tad lower as Brent fails to cross the $70/b mark

London — Crude futures were trading marginally lower at midday in Europe on May 6, as lingering uncertainties about post coronavirus recovery keep brent below $70/b.

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At 11:30 am London time (1030 GMT), the ICE Brent July contract was trading 13 cents/b lower than the May 5 settle at $68.83/b, while June NYMEX light sweet crude was down 19 cents/b at $65.44/b.

"Worries over Indian oil demand are coinciding with OPEC+ gradually starting to bring supply back onto the market, along with growing Iranian supply". ING Head of Commodities Strategy Warren Patterson and ING Senior Commodities Strategist Wenyu Yao wrote in a daily note.

"While right now it appears as though the market should be able to absorb this additional supply, the risk is that the demand picture deteriorates further, which would lead to a looser market balance".

The concerns in supply are likely to have influenced Saudi Arabia's decision to lower its official selling prices (OSP) for June, with the OSP for Arab Light into Asia cut by 10 cents/b to $1.70/b over the benchmark.

"It was probably the ongoing restrictions in India and Europe that prompted Saudi Arabia to offer June oil shipments to its Asian and European customers at a lower official price," Commerzbank oil analyst Eugen Weinberg said in a note.

Elsewhere, official figures from the US Energy Information Administration, or EIA, largely reaffirmed the earlier American Petroleum Institute's data from the previous day, news which has been viewed as constructive.

US crude oil inventories fell by 7.99 million b/d over the last reporting week, greatly exceeding the 2 million b/d that was expected.

However, the figures showed a marginal increase in gasoline stocks of 737 million barrels

"Gasoline demand proved disappointing: in recent days and weeks, there have been claims in many places that it had almost recovered to the 2019 level. These expectations were not confirmed," said Commerzbank's Weinberg.