Oil prices continued to trade lower on Thursday after the release of a report showing an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report signaled a build by 1.2 million barrels in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended June 29, following a 9.9 million-barrel decrease a week earlier. Analysts had estimated a fall by 4.4 million barrels.
U.S. crude stocks were down by 4.5 million barrels last week, according to industry report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) late Tuesday.
A report due on Friday by oilfield services company Baker Hughes will provide an update on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States.
Crude oil futures traded lower at $73.96 a barrel after opening today at $74.31. Brent crude futures traded lower at $78.16 a barrel.