Investing.com

Investing.com - Crude oil prices eased in Asia on Thursday in holiday-thinned trade on a carryover of bearish data on bulging U.S. crude stockpiles.



On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June traded at $99.72 a barrel, down 0.03%, after hitting an overnight session low of $99.38 a barrel and a high of $101.02 a barrel.



Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange fell 91 cents, or 0.8%, to $108.07 a barrel.



Markets in Japan, Australia and New Zealand are open Thursday and China is still expected to release the CFLP manufacturing PMI for April at 0900 local time (0100 GMT) with a gain to 50.5 from 50.3.



Overnight, crude futures fell after data revealed U.S.inventories reach record highs last week, while soft U.S. economic growth rates also watered down oil prices.



The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 1.7 million barrels in the week ended April 25, compared to expectations for an increase of 2.3 million barrels.



Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 399.4 million barrels as of last week, the highest level on record.



The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels, confounding forecasts for a decline of 0.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased by 1.9 million barrels, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.6 million barrels.



Soft economic growth numbers out of the U.S. also bruised the commodity by stoking concerns the U.S. still battles headwinds as it navigates its way to recovery and may demand less fuel and energy than once anticipated.



The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported earlier that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter, far shy of expectations for a 1.2% growth rate. The U.S. economy expanded by 2.6% in the previous quarter.



While the headline growth rate was weak, many investors blamed rough winter weather, pointing out poor exports and investments affected by blizzards.



The data also revealed that consumer spending on services rose to its highest level in 14 years.



Overall consumer spending rose 3.0%, while spending on services rose by 4.4%, though still, concerns that the U.S. economy faces potholes, weather-related or not, sent investors ditching crude.



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