Oil prices muted as markets weigh massive U.S. inventory build, OPEC cuts By Investing.com

© Reuters.

Investing.com– Oil prices moved little in Asian trade on Wednesday after industry data pointed to a substantial build in U.S. inventories, while traders continued to hold out for more supply cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. 

Data from the (API) showed that U.S. stockpiles likely grew over 9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 17, substantially more than expectations for a build of 1.5 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories saw a draw of 1.8 million barrels, while distillates fell 3.5 million barrels. 

The API data signaled a fourth straight week of builds for U.S. inventories, indicating that oil supplies remained robust, while fuel demand was beginning to taper off as the winter season began. It also indicated that crude supplies may not remain as tight as initially anticipated. 

This notion, coupled with signs of worsening economic conditions across the globe, had weighed heavily on oil prices over the past few weeks. While prices rebounded sharply from four-month lows over the past three sessions, the rebound rally now appeared to be cooling. 

were flat at $82.49 a barrel, while steadied at $77.71 a barrel by 20:47 ET (01:47 GMT). Both contracts settled flat on Tuesday. 

Weakness in the also afforded some strength to oil, as traders bet on an end to the Federal Reserve’s rate hike cycle.

API data heralds bumper official inventory reading

The API data usually heralds a similar reading on from the Energy Information Administration, which is due later in the day. 

U.S. inventories have shown consistent weekly builds, while production recently hit record highs as oil producers and refiners ramped up output to meet increased export demand. 

Draws on gasoline and distillates inventories have also become more scattered in recent months, signaling some cooling in U.S. fuel demand due to seasonal changes. 

OPEC+ meeting looms, supply cuts in focus 

Market focus was now squarely on an of the OPEC and its allies (OPEC+), on Nov. 26. 

Media reports suggested that Saudi Arabia and Russia- two major producers in the group- were considering deeper supply cuts to support oil prices, given the recent weakness seen in markets.

Increased production by other OPEC members, coupled with higher U.S. output also showed that crude markets were not as tight as initially expected. This notion, coupled with signs of economic weakness in major importer China and other markets, had weighed heavily oil prices in recent weeks. 

Saudi Arabia and Russia had earlier this year cut production several times to boost prices. Analysts expect any more production cuts to yield similar results, and to keep markets tight in early-2024.

by : Investing.com

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