Oil prices steady after strong gains due to higher demand forecast


Oil prices have remained steady following significant gains in the earlier session after the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted stronger demand.

Benchmark Brent crude slipped 10 cents to $55.06 after rising 1.6% in the previous session, while the US light crude remained unchanged at $49.30 after witnessing 2.2% gain, reported Reuters.

Earlier, an IEA report increased its estimate of 2017 world oil demand growth to 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.5 million bpd. 

It also stated that global oil glut has started to tighten due to stronger European and US demand and shrinking of output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member nations. 

OPEC and other key oil exporters including Russia agreed to reduce crude output by about 1.8 million bpd to March next year to rebalance oil market. 

"OPEC and other key oil exporters including Russia agreed to reduce crude output by about 1.8 million bpd to March next year to rebalance oil market."

However, the US Energy Information Administration figures show another increase in the crude stocks of the country due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Last week, crude inventories in the US increased by 5.9 million barrels, while gasoline stocks declined by 8.4 million barrels.

The distillate stocks of the country also fell by 3.2 million barrels.

Currently, most of the refineries in the US Gulf region are gradually returning to normalcy after recovering from floods and storm damage caused by Harvey.