OIL PRICES: ABOVE $50
According to REUTERS, oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Wednesday, with U.S. crude joining Brent above $50 a barrel after data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a larger than expected draw on stocks.
U.S. crude futures' August contract, the new front month from Wednesday, had climbed 9 cents to $49.94 a barrel by 0223 GMT. Earlier it rose to as high as $50.54, marking the first time it had risen above $50 since June 10.
Brent crude futures were up 4 cents at $50.66 a barrel, after settling down 3 cents at $50.62 on Tuesday.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels for the week ended June 17, the API said. The trade group's figures were triple the draw of 1.7 million barrels forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration will issue official stockpile data on Wednesday.
Markets remain jumpy over the possibility the United Kingdom will vote to leave the European Union on Thursday in a referendum, with polls showing little difference between the "remain" and "leave" camps.
The dollar clung to modest gains early on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen held the line of "gradual increases" in U.S. rates, while sterling's short-covering rally lost momentum a day ahead of the referendum.
Japan's Nikkei was down nearly 0.7 percent in early trading, while gold prices edged lower.
"Strengthening in the dollar and weakness in other currencies would ... be directionally short-term bearish for crude oil" in the event of a British exit, Societe Generale said in a research note.
A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive because it raises the cost for imports for most of the world's countries.
Still, fundamentals could come into play once the dust settles from the vote.
"Global demand growth is quite robust, driven by the U.S., China, India and other emerging markets," Societe Generale said. "On the supply side, declining U.S. crude production is expected to underpin a trend of lower non-OPEC production."
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BLOOMBERG - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Texas judge that Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn’t have a right to see privileged documents related to a $2 million fine assessed against the energy company for violating sanctions related to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for June 2018 show an average daily production of 1 747 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 88 000 barrels per day compared to May.
NOVATEK - In the first half 2018, NOVATEK’s hydrocarbons production totaled 264.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including 32.93 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas and 5,864 thousand tons of liquids (gas condensate and crude oil), resulting in an increase in total hydrocarbons production by 6.3 million boe, or by 2.4%, as compared to the first half 2017.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 75 cents, or 1 percent, at $78.11 a barrel by 0308 GMT, having fallen as low as $77.60. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 55 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.56.