Global crude oil prices dipped as data suggests a rise in US crude and fuel inventories and the Covid-19 pandemic continues to dent the demand outlook.

Brent crude slipped by $0.12, or 0.2%, to reach $67.88 a barrel while US oil was reduced $0.12, or 0.2%, to reach $64.48 a barrel, reported Reuters.

According to government data, US crude inventories edged up for the fourth consecutive week as refineries were closed due to severe cold weather in the southern part of the country.

Capital Economics was cited by the news agency as saying in a client note: “Even with the continued recovery in refinery activity, US crude stocks rose last week.

“We suspect that stocks will fall soon as refinery activity rises further and crude production holds steady.”

Last week, US crude inventories surged by 2.4 million barrels while an industry report on Tuesday anticipated a decline of one million barrels.

Moreover, against analyst expectations of a decline, gasoline and diesel stocks have increased, according to the news agency.

Meanwhile, several European countries have halted the rollout of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, citing concerns about possible side effects.

Germany is witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases while France plans to implement tougher restrictions to contain the pandemic. Italy is also planning a national lockdown for Easter.