However, it could be that crude prices will enjoy a momentary uplift in coming days, given that Iran has denied it is willing to negotiate over its ballistic missile program, contradicting an earlier claim by from Washington that caused a 3 percent drop in prices on Tuesday. The S&P 500 opened lower by 5.55 points, or 0.2%, at 2,978.87.
Brent crude futures gained 53 cents to $64.88 a barrel.
Oil prices fell on Thursday, extending declines into a fourth day, after official data showed US stockpiles of products like gasoline rose sharply last week, suggesting weak demand during the peak driving season. As for future, August West Texas Intermediate dropped 84 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $56.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Crude production was disrupted last week by Storm Barry, which came ashore on Saturday in central Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane. "This week the situation has totally changed and everyone is trying to get out of the market". The "easing of tensions between the U.S. and Iran, mixed Chinese growth data and storm-hit operations getting back online are all pressuring oil prices downward", said Alfonso Esparza senior market analyst at OANDA.
The retreat from early session highs accelerated after each benchmark fell below yesterday's low, which had provided technical support, Yawger said.
The U.S. crude oil and petroleum product net imports will average 0.6 million per day in 2019, down from an average of 2.3 million per day in 2018.
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"As oil keeps flowing, prices are likely to rise only temporarily", Staunovo added.
Oil traded near a two-week low as an increase in US fuel stockpiles spurred concern that demand is waning in the world's biggest crude consumer.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that, United States crude oil imports and exports both dropped off through the week ending July 12.
Iran said the vessel impounded was the same one it towed on Sunday after the ship had sent a distress call.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that shipping companies were hiring unarmed security guards for voyages through the Gulf.
The summer driving season normally entails increased consumption of gasoline.