Oil prices rise after 6-percent plunge, but market on edge
- 4 months ago
Oil prices on Wednesday clawed back some of the previous day’s more than 6 percent fall, supported by a report of an unexpected drop in U.S. commercial crude inventories as well as record Indian crude imports.
Investors however remained on edge, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) warning of unprecedented uncertainty in oil markets due to a difficult economic environment and political risk.
International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $63.42 per barrel at 0157 GMT, up 89 cents, or 1.4 percent from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1, were up 70 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $54.13 a barrel.
Wednesday’s gains came after a report by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories had fallen unexpectedly by 1.5 million barrels, to 439.2 million barrels, in the week to Nov. 16.
Record crude imports by India of almost 5 million barrels per day (bpd) also supported prices, traders said.
Yet Wednesday’s bounce was small in the context of general market weakness, which saw crude tumble by more than 6 percent the previous session amid a selloff in global stock markets.
“The global economy is still going through a very difficult time and is very fragile,” IEA chief Fatih Birol told Reuters on Tuesday.
With output surging and the demand outlook deteriorating, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is pushing for a supply cut of between 1 million and 1.4 million bpd in a bid to prevent a repeat of the 2014 glut, when a production overhang resulted in a price crash.