Commodities News

Oil Up on Surprise Drop in U.S. Stocks

Oil was up on Wednesday morning in Asia as American Petroleum Institute (API) showed an unexpected drop in U.S. crude and fuel stocks, countering worries over a possible spike in supplies from Iran.

Brent oil futures edged up 0.17% to $90.93 by 10:00 PM ET (3:00 AM GMT) while crude oil WTI futures edged up 0.13% to $89.48.

Investors now await U.S. crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, due later in the day.

“Undersupply is the key factor that has pumped up the oil price,” said Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets.

Tuesday’s U.S. crude oil supply data from the API showed a drop of 2 million barrels in inventories, against analyst expectations of a 400,000-barrel increase.

More data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will be available at 10:30 a.m. EST (3:00 AM GMT).

But concerns about a possible Iran nuclear deal that could unleash more oil into global markets still weighed heavy on the market.

Brent and WTI slid about 2% on Tuesday for a second straight session, as Washington resumed indirect talks with Iran to revive a nuclear deal. An agreement could drop U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil and rapidly add supplies to the market, even as a few vital issues remains in need of sorting.

“With the negotiations ongoing, the oil price is likely to lose steam in the next week, despite the bump higher we’ve seen today,” Teng said, adding that there has also been some profit taking among investors who are now cautious as prices hit more than 7-year highs recently.

Oil prices close to $100 a barrel could also draw more production from the U.S. The EIA expects U.S. crude output to rise 770,000 barrels per day to 11.97 million bpd this year.

Concerns over Ukraine were on hold. French President Emmanuel Macron has indicated that steps can be taken to de-escalate the crisis after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and urged all sides to stay calm.

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