Singapore: Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade on 29 June, a day after breaching $70 for the first time in 10 months amid tight gasoline supplies in the US, dealers said.
At 11:50am (09:20 IST) New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery was up 8 cents to $69.65 a barrel from $69.57 in late US trades.
Brent North Sea crude for August delivery shed 2 cents to $70.50.
New York prices breached the $70 mark in US trades aday earlier (on 28 June), soaring to $70.52 at one point, its highest level since 28 August, 2006.
Underpinning prices were concerns over US gasoline (petrol) stockpiles amid peak demand summer driving season when many Americans take to the roads for annual vacations.
Tobin Gorey, a commodities strategist with Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, said US refinery output has lagged behind the demand.
“Because it is so late and we are well into summer driving season... it is genuinely very hard (for the refineries) to catch up,” he said.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) reported on Wednesday, 27 June, that American gasoline stockpiles fell by 700,000 barrels to 202.6 million barrels in the week ending 22 June, against market expectations of a gain of 1 million barrels.