The sun sets behind a pumpjack during a gusty night on March 24, 2024 in Fort Stockton, Texas. 
Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Oil prices held firm Thursday as stockpiles in the U.S. fell for a second week and inflation eased.

U.S. crude stockpiles declined by 2.5 million barrels last week as refiners processed more crude in a sign that demand might be perking up.

With inflation easing slightly in April, futures traders penciled in a higher probability that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates in September. Lower interest rates help stimulate the economy which can boost crude oil demand.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent are little changed on the week, but have lost 4% and 5.8%, respectively, this month.

Here are today’s energy prices:

  • West Texas Intermediate June contract: $78.73 a barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.13%. Year to date, U.S. crude oil has gained 9.8%.
  • Brent July contract: $82.84 a barrel, up 9 cents, or 0.11%. Year to date, the global benchmark has advanced 7.5%.
  • RBOB Gasoline June contract: $2.52 per gallon, up 0.74%. Year to date, gasoline futures are ahead 19.6%.
  • Natural Gas June contract: $2.43 per thousand cubic feet, up 0.58%. Year to date, gas is down 3.5%.
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WTI v Brent

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