Oil Market Holds Nerve Ahead of US Stockpile Data

Oil prices edged up in early trading Wednesday following reports of that U.S. crude stockpiles are falling but analysts remains wary ahead of official data later on in the day, fearing prices will remain subdued well in to 2016.

Benchmark Brent crude for January delivery was trading 40 cents higher at $43.97 on Wednesday whereas U.S. crude was trading at $41.02.

Prices were supported today after industry data released late on Tuesday by industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) surprised markets. The figures showed that U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week by 482,000 barrels, due to lower imports and higher refinery output, Reuters reported.

The API report surprised market-watchers, who had been expecting an eighth straight week of increasing U.S. stockpiles with analysts polled by Reuters forecasting a build of 1.9 million barrels.

So all eyes are now on the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) as it releases its official inventory data later Wednesday.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.