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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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.