Crude oil prices moved lower on Thursday, after data late Wednesday showed that U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week, eclipsing recent signs that the market is tigthtening, while markets awaited the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report due later in the day.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude November contract was down 27 cents or about 0.53% at $51.03 a barrel by 03:45 a.m. ET (07:45 GMT), off Wednesday’s more than one-week highs of $51.41.Elsewhere, Brent oil for December delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was down 22 cents or about 0.39% at $56.72 a barrel.
Prices dropped after the American Petroleum Institute reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.1 million barrels to 468.5 million barrels last week, disappointing expectations for a drop of 400,000 barrels.Analysts and traders were expecting the weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due later Thursday to show a decline in crude stockpiles for the week ended October 6.
The commodity had strengthened after Saudi Arabia announced plans on Monday to cut monthly exports in November.
The move is part of ongoing efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with other producers, including Russia, to curb oversupply and stabilize prices by cutting output in a deal which is due to expire in March 2018. In its monthly report released on Wednesday, OPEC indicated that market rebalancing will continue amid forecasts that global oil demand will rise by around 30,000 barrels a day for this year and 2018.
Separately, U.S. President Donald Trump was expected Thursday to announce a de-certification of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, putting its future into question. The Persian nation is an OPEC member and key Middle Eastern oil producer.Elsewhere, gasoline futures were up 0.18% at $1.610 a gallon, while natural gas futures advanced 0.73% to $2.910 per million British thermal units.
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