(Bloomberg) -- Oil slipped after an increase in U.S. crude inventories compounded concerns around a choppy global demand recovery. While futures in New York came off session lows as the S&P 500 Index advanced, prices remained about 1% lower on Wednesday. A U.S. weekly inventory report showed the first gain in domestic crude supplies in a month. Meanwhile, a resurgent coronavirus in India is curbing fuel consumption.“The price pullback has been over rising uncertainty in regards to global oil demand, given the rise in infections, particularly in India,” said Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at Tortoise, a firm that manages roughly $8 billion in energy-related assets. “India is a large, high growth market for oil. What’s going on in the country with Covid-19, at least in the near-term, could pose a challenge for demand.”U.S. benchmark crude prices are still up nearly 30% this year as the country has proven a bright spot overall for demand, with a speedy Covid-19 vaccine rollout adding to factors boosting domestic travel. A gauge of U.S. gasoline consumption is showing a steady trajectory higher and jet fuel cargoes are on the way to the West Coast from Asia to satisfy growing demand from airlines.West Texas Intermediate’s futures curve strengthened with supplies at the nation’s biggest storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma sliding to the lowest since mid-February.There are also positive signs emerging in some other parts of the world. Congestion during morning rush hours in cities including Beijing was higher than 2019 levels in the week to April 12, according to TomTom International BV. In the U.K., road use reached 99% of pre-pandemic levels on April 18, government data show.Yet, oil prices are struggling to break out of its recent trading range. Soaring virus cases in India, the world’s third largest oil importer, have forced the financial and political capitals to impose curbs on movement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked states to avoid shutting businesses, but “the health burden may soon catch up and force Indian authorities to respond more harshly,” according to Rystad Energy AS.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.