Oil Prices Stable as Rising U.S. Crude Stocks Balance Supply Concerns

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Oil prices eased on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected, though supply worries capped losses.

Brent crude futures for December fell $1.03 to $92 a barrel after settling 26 cents higher in the previous session, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for December were down 75 cents to $84.57, reversing the previous session’s gain.

But U.S. crude inventories rose by about 4.5 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 21, according to market sources citing figures from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, above expectations from five analysts polled by Reuters.

Rising stockpiles reinforce fears of a global recession that would further cut demand, weakness in which has also been apparent in softer Chinese crude import data.

But ongoing supply constraints, highlighted by the International Energy Agency’s head warning of the “first truly global energy crisis”, gave prices a floor.

With respect to the wide WTI-Brent spread in recent sessions, Innes added that WTI buyers are watching for any more interventions by President Joe Biden ahead of the U.S. mid-term elections on Nov. 8.

Biden announced a plan last week to sell off the rest of a record release from the nation’s emergency oil reserve by year-end as he tries to dampen high gasoline prices.

Meanwhile Biden, facing criticism over high inflation, has warned that Saudi Arabia would face consequences for aligning with Russia and agreeing to reduce crude supply.

 




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