Oil prices were mixed in early trade on Thursday, just clinging to overnight gains, as concerns about weak fuel demand were in the frame again after Hurricane Sally blasted through the Gulf of Mexico into the southeastern United States.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were flat at $40.16 a barrel at 0118 GMT, after jumping 4.9 per cent on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures gained 5 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $42.27 a barrel, after climbing 4.2 per cent on Wednesday.
Prices were mostly in negative ground in early trade after a bigger than expected rise in US distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, raised alarm about fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy.
“Distillate demand … is a key point of concern,” Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.
Distillate stockpiles rose by 3.5 million barrels last week, US Energy Information Administration