Today's release of the weekly energy inventory levels from the Department of Energy (DoE) showed that crude oil inventories declined in line with forecasts, while gasoline stockpiles saw a larger-than-expected drawdown. On the crude oil front, traders were expecting inventories to decline by 1.5 million barrels, while the actual decline came in slightly below that at 1.428 million barrels. As shown in the chart below, stockpiles have started to decline at a more normalized rate in the last few weeks after the sharp declines earlier this summer.
While crude oil inventories saw declines that were in line with expectations, the declines in gasoline stocks was more than twice what traders were expecting (-4.029 million vs. -1.5 million). As shown in the chart, though, we are currently in one of the periods of the year where it is typical for inventories to decline at a hefty clip.