Oil halted losses near $61 a barrel after industry data showed U.S. fuel stockpiles fell last week.
Futures in New York were steady after dropping 2.1 percent in the two sessions through Tuesday. Distillate inventories sank by 4.26 million barrels and gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.26 million, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report. The industry data also showed crude supplies in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the West Texas Intermediate contract, slid.
Oil has struggled to recover losses from last month’s broader market slump after topping $66 a barrel in January. While a brighter economic outlook has underpinned demand expectations, expanding American production remains a challenge to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which are trying to prop up prices via output curbs.
WTI for April delivery traded at $60.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 18 cents at 8:26 a.m. in Tokyo. The contract fell 65 cents to $60.71 on Tuesday. Total volume traded was about 80 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for May settlement sank 31 cents to close at $64.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Tuesday. The global benchmark ended the session at a $3.89 premium to May WTI.
Source : Bloomberg