Oil rebounds from one-week low as IEA sees tighter market
Oil prices rose on Thursday, but swelling crude stockpiles in the United States limited the rebound from a one-week low after the International Energy Agency said oil markets had been tightening even before cuts agreed by OPEC and other producers took effect, Reuters reported.
The IEA said that while it was "far too soon" to gauge OPEC members' compliance with promised cuts, commercial oil inventories in the developed world fell for a fourth consecutive month in November, with another decline projected for December.
Benchmark Brent crude was up 38 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $54.30 a barrel by 11:44 a.m. EST (1644 GMT) after closing down 2.8 percent in the previous session. U.S. crude rose 36 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $51.44 a barrel, having dropped to a one-week low on Wednesday of $50.91.
Prices tumbled to session lows after weekly inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week as refineries sharply cut production.
The data also showed much larger-than-expected increases in stocks of gasoline and a surprise drop distillates inventories. Stockpiles of gasoline in the U.S. East Coast swelled to the highest weekly levels on record for this time of year, when refiners typically begin storing barrels ahead of summer driving season.