Oil prices regain some ground, but oversupply weighs

LONDON: Oil prices regained some ground on Thursday, after steep losses in the previous session, as leading Gulf oil producers signalled a likely extension of OPEC-led supply cuts beyond the middle of the year. Brent crude futures were at $53.43 per barrel at 0855 GMT, up 50 cents from their last close.
US crude futures were up 43 cents at $50.87 a barrel.
OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signalled that an effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, to cut oil output was likely to be extended beyond June.
But bloated inventories weighed. Despite a drop in US crude stocks last week, an unexpected 1.5-million-barrel build in gasoline stocks drove prices more than 3.5 per cent lower on Wednesday.
US crude oil production rose to 9.25 million barrels per day, official data showed, up almost 10 per cent since mid-2016 .
“The rebalancing in US crude stocks may have got under way, but concerns of further gasoline builds are rife even as the US summer driving season shifts up a gear,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst with PVM Oil Associates. “With questions hanging over US gasoline demand, any further product builds will act as a brake on the oil price recovery.” Global fuel stocks are well above the five-year average, and Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was quoted on Thursday as saying inventories remained elevated in part because traders were selling supplies out of tanker storage. — Reuters

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