Crude Oil Futures Settle Higher Despite Rise In Inventory

Oil Hits a Five Month High as Libya Clashes Add to Supply ConcernsMore

Oil Hits a Five Month High as Libya Clashes Add to Supply ConcernsMore

Forces loyal to Libya's eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar have pushed their offensive on the country's critical northwestern region in recent days, where they have run into opposition from militias allied with the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures settled at $64.61 a barrel, rising 63 cents, or 0.98 per cent, holding just below its strongest level since mid-November.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' combined oil production plunged by 534,000 barrels per day in March, it said in a report citing secondary sources.

US crude oil stocks rose more than expected last week to the highest in almost 17 months as imports climbed, while gasoline inventories posted their steepest drawdown since September 2017, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs said an oil supply deficit had opened up early this year.

The bank now sees Brent prices at $72.50 per barrel in the second quarter, compared with $65 previously. OPEC further announced that it expects 2019 demand for its crude oil to be 30.30 million bpd, 160,000 bps lower from the previous estimate.

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Crude inventories rose 7 million barrels to 456.6 million barrels in the last week, their highest since November 2017, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.3 million barrels.

But then the US granted waivers to Iran's biggest oil customers, including China and India, and OPEC and its Russia-led allies forged in December a new production cut deal aimed at reversing the new glut that had started to build in Q4 2018 after OPEC anticipated incorrectly.

And while fears of a global recession ebbed following strong U.S. jobs figures and improved Chinese manufacturing data late last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said there was still a "significant slowing in growth globally" in 2019.

And while fears of a global recession ebbed following strong U.S.jobs figures and improved Chinese manufacturing data late last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said there was still a "significant slowing in growth globally" in 2019.

Russia, not an OPEC-member but a reluctant participant in the supply cuts, signaled on Monday it wanted to raise output when it would meet with OPEC in June because of falling stockpiles.

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