OIL PRICES: ABOVE $52 NOW
According to REUTERS, oil prices rose early on Wednesday, pushed up by a report of a fall in U.S. crude inventories and an OPEC statement saying a planned production cut was achievable, although analysts warned that Chinese economic data could erode the bullish momentum.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $50.81 per barrel at 0011 GMT, up 52 cents, or 1 percent, from their last settlement.
International Brent crude futures were at $52.14 a barrel, up 46 cents, or 0.9 percent.
"The American Petroleum Institute crude inventory numbers were released ... this has given early Asian trading a bullish start," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore.
Crude stockpiles fell 3.8 million barrels in the week to Oct. 14, to 467.1 million barrels, the API reported late on Tuesday.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due to release official fuel storage data later on Wednesday.
Traders said oil was also being supported by Mohammed Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), expressing confidence about the prospects of a planned production cut following an OPEC meeting on Nov. 30.
"I am optimistic we will have a decision," Barkindo said.
In its first output cut since 2008, OPEC plans to reduce production to a range of 32.50 million to 33.0 million barrels per day (bpd), compared with record output of 33.6 million bpd in September PRODN-TOTAL.
The group hopes that non-OPEC producers, especially Russia, will cooperate in a cut.
Beyond the immediate oil market, OANDA's Halley said that "plenty of event risk lurks over the next 24 hours," including Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) figures, due at 0200 GMT.
China's economy is forecast to have expanded by 6.7 percent in the year to September, underpinned by government stimulus and a hot property market.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.