Oil prices steadied on Tuesday, as the dollar relinquished early gains and expectations of OPEC output curbs lifted crude prices from session lows despite forecasts for data showing a second straight weekly build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
U.S. crude inventories likely rose by 2.4 million barrels in the week to Oct. 14, a Reuters poll of oil market analysts found. In the previous week to Oct 7, stocks grew by 4.9 million barrels. [EIA/S]
The American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, will issue its report on domestic oil stocks at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), after Tuesday’s market settlement. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue official numbers on Wednesday.
Brent crude LCOc1 was flat at $51.52 a barrel by 12:16 p.m. EDT (1616 GMT).
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 rose 15 cents to $50.09.
The dollar was mixed in choppy trading. .DXY A strong dollar makes crude and other commodities denominated in the greenback less affordable to holders of other currencies. [FRX/]
Crude prices are up 13 percent from three weeks ago after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries proposed its first output cut or freeze in eight years to rein in a global crude glut. The group gathers on Nov. 30 for its policy meeting.
The oil rally has stalled at around $50 a barrel on doubts whether OPEC will reach a deal that satisfies all 14 members. Most in the Saudi-led cartel need higher prices to repair economic damage after crude fell to almost $26 a barrel this year from 2014 highs above $100. Some, like Iran, prefer not to cut output.
“Expectations are that we will get something” at the Nov. 30 meeting, Ian Taylor, chief executive at Vitol, the world’s top oil trader, told an industry conference in London. “Whether it is quite good enough to get a substantial rebalancing in the short term, I am not sure.”
Some are positive in their outlook for oil.