SEOUL (Reuters) – Oil prices climbed 1 percent on Thursday, clawing back some ground from losses in the previous session, but an increase in U.S. crude inventories and uncertainty in the run to an OPEC meeting next week kept markets under pressure.
U.S. crude futures <CLc1> rose 65 cents, or 1.29 percent, to $50.94 per barrel by 0120 GMT. They ended the last session down 2.5 percent at $50.29 a barrel, after hitting their lowest since early October last year.
International benchmark Brent crude <LCOc1> rose 60 cents, or 1.02 percent, to $59.36 a barrel, having settling down 2.4 percent on Wednesday at $58.76 a barrel.
“WTI oil is now trading right around the $50 per barrel level, a price last seen well over a year ago, as the current oversupply situation has now manifested itself in 10 consecutive weekly increases in U.S. oil inventories,” said William O’Loughlin, Investment Analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
U.S. crude inventories for the week to Nov. 23 added 3.6 million barrels to the most in a year at 450 million barrels, exceeding expectations, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. [EIA/S]
“Crude oil prices remained under pressure after oil supply in the U.S. rose ahead of a key OPEC meeting … This comes as some key leaders meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin said they were willing to work with OPEC to stabilise the market,” ANZ Bank said in a note.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members will meet in Vienna, Austria on Dec. 6 to discuss a new round of production cuts of 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) and possibly more, OPEC delegates told Reuters earlier this month.
Next week’s OPEC meeting will follow a gathering by the Group of 20 nations in Argentina from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.
(Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford)