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NEW DELHI: Asia’s gasoline crack softened on Thursday despite a decline in inventories at Singapore hub, as a lack of clarity over China’s intentions on oil-stocks release weighed on market sentiments. The refining profit margin fell to $7.29 a barrel from $7.83 in the last session.

On the demand side, Singapore light distillates stocks fell by 225,000 barrels to a two-week low of 10.985 million barrels in the week to Nov. 24, Enterprise Singapore data showed.

Meanwhile, the naphtha crack in the region inched lower to $149.43 a tonne from $149.73 in the previous session on fears of weakening demand over softer liquefied petroleum gas prices.

“Declining LPG price has impacted naphtha fundamentals in Asia. LPG which is used as an alternative feedstock to naphtha, becomes profitable when it is trading at a discount of $50 per tonne against naphtha,” Mohammed Yasser, an analyst at Refinitiv Oil Research said in a note.

China, the world’s largest crude importer, was non-committal about whether it will release oil from its reserves as requested by Washington, while OPEC sources said the US action has not made the producer group change course.

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