REUTERS

Oil prices drifted lower on Thursday as concerns about renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States outweighed signs of a recovery in U.S. gasoline demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell 14 cents, or 0.3%, to $40.76 a barrel by 0229 GMT, after rising 0.7% on Wednesday, as reported by Reuters.

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Brent crude LCOc1 futures slipped 7 cents, or 0.2%, to $43.22, after gaining 0.5% on Wednesday.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday as data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell by 4.8 million barrels last week, much more than analysts had expected, as demand climbed to 8.8 million barrels per day (bpd), highest since March 20.

A spike in COVID-19 cases across several U.S. states, however, raised the prospect of renewed lockdowns that would likely hold back any sustained recovery in fuel demand.