Investing.com - Oil futures traded to the downside in the early part of Thursday's Asian session after a decent showing during Wednesday's U.S. session as traders appeared pensive ahead of some important data points due out later Thursday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for July delivery fell 0.32% to USD95.58 per barrel in Asian trading Thursday after settling up 0.66% at USD96.01 a barrel on Wednesday.
Crude showed some mettle in the face of bearish supply released Wednesday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended June 7, defying expectations for a decline of 722,000 barrels.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 393.8 million barrels as of last week.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 2.7 million barrels, above expectations for an increase of 644,000 barrels.
Traders will now turn their attention to retail sales and weekly jobless claims data from the U.S., both of which are scheduled to be reported later Thursday. Those reports could set the tone for oil to end the week as the U.S. is the world's biggest oil consumer.
Elsewhere, in its annual review of the global energy market released Wednesday, BP said U.S. oil production rose by 1 million per days last year, reducing imports by 930,000 barrels per day. In 2012, the U.S. produced 8.9 million barrels per day, an increase of nearly 14% from the previous year.
Speaking of increased oil production, Iraq is hoping to be pumping 4.5 million barrels per day next year, up from the current level of 3.5 million barrels per day. The country is an OPEC member.
Meanwhile, Brent futures for August delivery fell 0.23% to USD103.33 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.
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