February crude oil prices traded flat to lower during the overnight and initial morning hours, as the market grappled with prospects for a US inventory build and fractional gains in global equity markets. Private industry data released late Tuesday showed a larger than expected build on US crude supplies last week. Expectations for this morning's EIA inventory data are for a build of around 1.5 million barrels. Some traders noted that the EIA inventory data could have been distorted due to year-end inventory adjustments. The build in US supply last week seemed to detract from a somewhat upbeat global demand outlook from Alcoa's earnings report last night. Another negative facing the crude oil market could be the latest EIA forecasts calling for boost in US crude oil production in 2013 by 900,000 barrels per day.
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