Oil Prices Shrug Off US Plea for More Opec Output

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Oil prices snapped back above $70 per barrel on Wednesday amid fresh US inflation concerns and a call from the White House for more supply from the Opec-plus coalition. In London, the October Brent contract gained 81¢ and settled at $71.44/bbl, only a few cents below its intraday high of $71.60/bbl. In New York, the front-month Nymex West Texas Intermediate (WTI) September contract was up 96¢/bbl, ending the session at $69.25/bbl. Inflation in the US took center stage on Wednesday after the release of the July consumer price index (CPI) data, including inflation at the gasoline pump. The CPI remained unchanged from the prior month at a steady 5.4%, and energy inflation abated from 24.5% in June to 23.8% in July. Yet this did not deter the US White House from calling for more Opec supply to fend off the surge in US gasoline prices. Regular gasoline has barely budged from its highs and is now selling at a nationwide average of $3.186 per gallon, a whopping 46.5% higher than the $2.174/gallon it was selling at a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association. US gasoline demand was up last week, making another dent in US oil inventories. Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that gasoline stockpiles shed 1.4 million barrels in the week ended Aug 6, to 227.5 million bbl. Implied gasoline demand was down 345,000 b/d on the week at 9.43 million b/d, dipping slightly below its four-week average of 9.45 million b/d, but remains 6.2% higher on the year. Desperately Seeking Supply

Oil Inventories, Crude Oil
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