Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Monday as the impact of Hurricane Irma was not as severe as expected so far, but still packed a wallop for Florida even as its intensity was downgraded and as investors eyed China crude buying trends in the wake of a strongly stronger yuan. Hurricane Irma knocked out power to more than 2.4 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday, threatening millions more as it crept up the state's west coast, and full restoration of service will take weeks, local electric utilities said. But after Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sunday morning as a dangerous Category 4 storm, the second highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, it weakened to a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (177 kph). The yuan gained to its highest level since May 2016 on Monday, a boon for commodity imports priced in dolalrs that are imported into China such as crude oil. Click Read More below for more of the story.
Inventories of U.S. crude fell by 1.351 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 3, missing expectations for a draw of 2.800 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The smaller-than-expected draw in crude supplies came as imports rose by about 2.64 million barrels a day (bpd) and exports rose by 5.40 million bpd, data from EIA showed.
Gasoline inventories unexpectedly rose by 2.900 million barrels, confounding expectations for a draw of 1.700 million barrels, while supplies of distillate – the class of fuels that includes diesel and heating oil – rose by 1.230 million barrels, against expectations for a build of 0.220 million barrels.
more at source: https://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/crude-oil-prices-settle-at-sixweek-lows-as-uschina-trade-war-intensifies-1566118