Official U.S. crude oil data for the week ending July 29 revealed that crude oil refinery inputs averaged approximately 16.852 million barrels a day. This was 266,000 barrels per day higher than the 16.586 million recorded in the preceding week. Following the release of the data, crude oil prices spiked to a session low of $39.19. However, they rebounded quickly to trade above the $40 level.
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United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (USO) did not have any impact after the release of the oil inventory data and traded about 1.39 percent higher. The energy sector as well appeared unaffected by the data, as the majority of the sector's stocks traded in the green.
The government data pointed out that refineries operated at 93.3 percent of their operable capacity in the same week. Gasoline production slipped last week, averaging 10.0 million barrels a day. However, distillate fuel production grew averaging more than 4.9 million barrels a day.
Crude oil imports averaged 8.738 million barrels a day last week, which was higher by 301,000 barrels a day over the preceding week. The official data suggested that crude oil imports averaged 8.288 million barrels a day in the last four weeks. This was 10.4 percent more than the same period last year.
While total motor gasoline imports averaged 637,000 barrels a day last week, distillate fuel imports averaged 96,000 barrels per day in the same period, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending.
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Significantly, the data indicated the crude oil inventories were at a historical high level of 522.5 million.
At time of writing, crude oil traded $0.37 (0.94 percent up) at $39.88, while USO traded higher by $0.08 (0.86 percent) at $9.41. Similarly, in the energy sector, nine companies traded in the green whereas six in the negative territory. A notable gainer was SM Energy Co (SM), which advanced $2.79 (10.64 percent) to $29, and the notable loser was CGG SA (ADR) (CGG), which shed $0.70 (3.35 percent) to $20.29.
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