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WTI oil prices rise above $32 but glut concerns weigh

Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. oil prices rose above $32 a barrel in North America trade on Thursday, but concerns over a supply glut persisted after weekly stockpile data showed that U.S. oil inventories rose to an all-time high last week.

Crude oil for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 3 cents, or 0.09%, to trade at $32.12 a barrel by 14:40GMT, or 9:40AM ET.

A day earlier, New York-traded oil futures reversed losses of more than 2% to end up 28 cents, or 0.88%, after weekly stockpile data pointed to strong demand for gasoline and distillates, but also showed that U.S. oil inventories rose to an all-time high, underlining concerns over ample supplies.

U.S. oil prices are down nearly 17% so far this year as a domestic supply glut dragged down prices.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for April delivery dipped 8 cents, or 0.23%, to trade at $34.33 a barrel as hopes for a collective supply cut continued to support prices.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier that oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries were planning to meet in mid-March. Novak said he would also probably meet with Iran's oil minister next month.

He added that a potential deal between leading oil producers to freeze output should last for at least a year.

Top oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to freeze oil production at January levels last week, provided other oil exporters joined in. But Iran stopped short of committing to the proposal, casting doubts over whether the freeze will happen.

Oil futures are down nearly 70% since the summer of 2014. Global crude production is outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil and after a decision by OPEC last year not to cut production in order to defend market share.

Meanwhile, Brent's premium to the West Texas Intermediate crude contract stood at $2.21 a barrel, compared to a gap of $2.26 by close of trade on Wednesday.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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