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NEW DELHI: Asia's gasoline crack eased on Thursday despite a decline in Singapore and US inventories, as concerns over surging COVID-19 cases dented demand outlook. The crack fell to $7.43 a barrel from $7.75 in the previous session.

Coronavirus daily infections hit a record high in Australia and South Korea, while Japan suspended the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, more than a week after the domestic distributor received reports of contaminants in some vials.

In contrast, Asia naphtha crack rose on Thursday, while the prompt inter-month spread stabilised at $1.50 a tonne in contango after BP purchased two cargoes of first-half November loading naphtha. The crack was at $119.18 per tonne, up from $115.53 in the last session.

"August overall exports are currently at 3.35 million barrels per day, up by 7% from July levels. This boost in naphtha volumes is mainly supported by a firm demand in the petrochemical industry, apart from residential demand and some gasoline blending," Vortexa said in a report. Singapore light distillates stocks declined by 163,000 barrels to a two-week low of 13.231 million barrels in the week to Aug. 25, data from Enterprise Singapore showed.

US gasoline stocks also fell by 2.2 million barrels in the week to 225.92 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.6 million-barrel drop.

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