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Oil steady, US crude inventories rise more than expected

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LONDON, October 3, 2019 – Oil prices steadied on Thursday in Asia despite reports that showed US crude inventories rose more than expected last week.

US Crude Oil WTI Futures gained 0.4% to $52.86 by 1:01 AM ET (05:01 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures inched up 0.1% to $57.75.

US oil inventories showed a gain of 3.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported overnight, more than the market was anticipating, which pressured oil prices.

 

Analysts were expecting a rise of about 1.57 million barrels of crude for the week ended Sept. 27, according to forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

The EIA said gasoline inventories for the week fell by about 230,000 barrels, confounding forecasts for a build of about 450,000 barrels. Distillate stockpiles dropped by about 2.4 million barrels. Analysts had been looking for a decline of about 1.8 million barrels.

Oil prices initially were sent lower following the EIA report, but later reversed losses amid modest hopes for progress in resolving the Sino-US trade war.

Officials from the two sides will resume trade talks next week in Washington. US President Donald Trump said earlier that a trade deal might come “earlier than you thought” after China agreed to mass purchase US farm products.

The US and China are the world’s biggest oil importers.

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