Economy

Oil steady as expected output pact extension offsets U.S. supply

Oil steady as expected output pact extension offsets U.S. supply

Prices were still on track for their first weekly loss in six as rising USA output data was compounded by doubts that Russian Federation would support an OPEC deal.

Consumer price inflation minus food and energy rose slightly in October while retail sales were a bit higher, according to government data.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, as increasing crude stockpiles and record high USA production reignited worries about an oversupplied market.

Brent, the global benchmark, fell 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $61.87 a barrel.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) stated on Wednesday that the availability of crude oil as well as gasoline in the nation unexpectedly rose last week, making this its second consecutive week of increase.

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USA crude stockpiles rose by 1.85 million barrels last week, according to the EIA report.

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery was at $55.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 7 cents as of 7:45 a.m.in London.

Oil ministers have signalled that they are likely to extend the agreement, possibly until the end of next year.

Expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to extend their supply-cut pact with other major world producers in Vienna on November 30 has offset some of the recent pressure on prices.

This is potentially bearish for crude oil especially Brent.

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Gasoline supplies added 894,000 barrels, after three weeks of declines, but were contrary to expectations of a 919,000 barrel-loss.

"It is far too early to write the obituary of oil, as growth for trucks, aviation, petrochemicals, shipping and aviation keep pushing demand higher", said Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based IEA. The IEA revised downward its forecast for oil demand in 2017 by 50,000 bpd and in 2018 by 190,000 bpd. TransCanada Corp's 590,000 barrel per day (bpd) Keystone pipeline remained shut after a leak in South Dakota on Thursday.

Despite these slight gains, Brent and WTI have lost about 4% in value since hitting 2015 highs last week, pulled down in part by rising crude availability in the US. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.4 percentage points.

The data also showed distillate stocks in the U.S. Gulf fell to a one-year low, while overall refining rates rose in the latest week, led by a jump in East Coast refining, which is operating at a record 99.8 per cent of capacity.

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