Weekly energy inventories from the Department of Energy were released earlier today and showed that both crude oil and gasoline stockpiles came in modestly below forecasts. While traders were expecting crude inventories to rise by 1 million barrels, the actual increase was just 375K. In spite of the small increase, this week marked the ninth straight week where stockpiles increased, which is the longest streak since May 2012. As shown in the chart below, crude stocks remain well above their historical average for this time of year.
While crude inventories rose this week, gasoline stockpiles dropped by 345K versus expectations for a decline of 300K. This represents the sixth straight week of declines, which we haven't seen since March. Although crude oil inventories are well above their historical average, gasoline stockpiles are much closer to normal for this time of year.