Commodities - Crude Oil Prices Ease But Hold on to Gains

Commodities - Crude Oil Prices Ease But Hold on to Gains

Oil prices edged lower on Thursday, but held on the most of their gains from the previous session which came after data showing a record drop in gasoline inventories and indications that the oversupplied global market is starting to rebalance.

U.S. crude oil was trading at $49.27 a barrel by 04:11 AM ET (08:11 GMT) after a 2.07% gain in the previous session.

Global benchmark Brent futures were at $55.09 a barrel after rising 1.49% in the previous session.

On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said global oil supplies fell for the first time in four months in August, while also revising its 2017 oil demand estimate up to 1.6 million barrels a day from its July estimate of 1.5 million.

The data came a day after the latest OPEC report that showed oil production from the cartel fell last month for the first time since March.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday that output declined by 79,000 barrels a day to 32.76 million in August, driven mainly by a drop in Libya, Gabon, Venezuela and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline stockpiles fell by 8.4 million barrels last week, the largest weekly drop on record in EIA data going back to 1990.

Distillate stockpiles fell by 3.2 million barrels, also above expectations.

Crude oil inventories rose by 5.88 million barrels last week, the EIA said.

The build came after Hurricane Harvey shut production in some Gulf of Mexico fields and refineries in Texas as some domestic producers also trimmed output to avoid a larger glut at storage.

The reports from the IEA and OPEC offset concerns over the EIA stockpile build, supporting prices.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures fell 0.59% to $1.6347 a gallon and natural gas futures added 0.23%, to $3.064 per million British thermal units.


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