Oil advances before US energy report

10th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

The oil market rose Thursday, pulling back from heavy losses, as dealers awaited US crude stockpiles data.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October added 53 cents to stand at $48.11 a barrel in early afternoon deals in London.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October rose 63 cents to $44.78 per barrel.

Prices had tumbled Wednesday on expectations of another increase in US inventories, adding to worries about global oversupply.

"We have seen US production levels slowing in recent weeks, and those figures will next be in focus for investors seeking answers on the oversupply issue," Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

The Department of Energy (DoE) will release its weekly report Thursday, a day later than usual because of Monday's Labor Day holiday in the US.

Analysts expect commercial crude-oil inventories rose by 900,000 barrels in the week to September 4, according to the latest Bloomberg News survey.

At the same time, the DoE predicted in a new report Wednesday that US crude-oil production would decline through the middle of next year in response to low prices, before picking up again in late 2016 on an expected recovery in prices.

US crude output fell 140,000 barrels per day in August from July. The government lowered its 2015 production estimate to 9.2 million barrels per day, 100,000 barrels lower than its month-ago forecast.

Even so, total US output this year is expected to be the highest since 1972.

Investors are keeping an eye also on the Federal Reserve's plans for interest rates as bank policymakers hold a meeting next week, with speculation they could announce a rise.

A hike in borrowing rates would likely push up the dollar, and with crude priced in the greenback it would make the commodity more expensive for anyone holding weaker currencies, denting demand.

© 2015 AFP

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