Oil prices rise before US inventory data
Oil prices rose slightly on Thursday as the market awaited key inventory data from the United States -- the world's biggest consumer of energy.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, rose 33 cents to 75 dollars a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for October gained six cents to 78.23 dollars a barrel.
Later on Thursday, investors will pore over the US Department of Energy's weekly report on energy inventories for clues on US oil demand.
Ahead of the report, the OPEC oil cartel held steady its forecast for world oil demand growth this year and in 2011, but warned on Thursday that prevailing economic uncertainty made forecasting difficult.
"Repeated revisions to world economic growth -- a key driver of oil demand -- have made forecasting oil market developments in 2010 particularly difficult," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in its September monthly bulletin.
"The forecasts for oil demand are subject to frequent revisions. In fact, in recent years, actual demand has turned out to be lower than projected, leading to substantial downward adjustments," the cartel said.
"These developments underscore the need for continued caution about oil demand projections in a highly uncertain economic environment."
Nevertheless, OPEC said it was holding its projections for oil demand growth both in 2010 and 2011 steady.
This year, world oil demand growth was expected to grow by 1.05 million barrels per day (bpd) or 1.2 percent to 85.51 million bpd, unchanged from the previous forecast.
And next year, demand would also grow by 1.2 percent to 86.56 million bpd, OPEC predicted.
© 2010 AFP