While this is a time of year when crude oil inventories are supposed to start declining, this week's levels bucked the historical trend and actually showed a modest increase of 18K barrels. This slight build in stockpiles came as traders were expecting a drawdown of 1.75 million barrels.
In the gasoline market, the build was even more pronounced. While traders were expecting inventories to rise by 875K barrels, the actual build was more than four times that at 3.653 million barrels. This was the largest weekly build since the first week of January, and along with the recent drop in the price of crude oil and the collapsing spread between Brent and WTI crude oil prices, it will likely lead to lower prices at the pump.