West TX Oil Below $49 as Stockpiles Rise

Oil prices held steady in early Asian trade on Thursday, with U.S. crude trading below $50 a barrel near its lowest in more than three months as rising U.S. stockpiles and a strong dollar weighed on the commodity.

Crude oil stocks in the United States rose 2.5 million barrels last week to above the five-year seasonal average, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed, contrasting with expectations of a 2.3 million-barrel drawdown.

“Demand is reasonably buoyant in the United States, but there’s just so much supply,” said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney.