Oil prices have remained steady at around $40 per barrel, with a fall in US crude stocks the previous day balanced by a rise in Iraqi exports.

Brent futures rose 5 cents and traded at $39.89 a barrel, while the US crude futures also increased 5 cents and were $37.80 per barrel, Reuters reported.

Official data released by the state-run South Oil Company highighted an increase in oil exports from Iraq’s southern ports during April 2016 to an average of 3.494 million barrels per day (bpd).

"Production numbers from places like Iran and Iraq are in focus with people looking to see how it translates into the overall supply picture."

ABN Amro Amsterdam senior energy economist Hans van Cleef told the news agency: "Production numbers from places like Iran and Iraq are in focus with people looking to see how it translates into the overall supply picture."

Energy Information Administration’s data showed that crude inventories in the US slipped 4.9 million barrels in the week ending 1 April 2016, which is against analysts’ expectations for a rise of 3.2 million barrels.

North Sea oil field maintenance expected in Europe in May 2016 offered support to Brent prices.

According to traders, a fall of more than 4% in the dollar since 2016 beginning is also supporting oil as countries using other currencies find it cheaper to import dollar-denominated fuels.

A meeting of major oil producers to be held in Doha on 17 April to discuss an output freeze proposal may, which may not do much to reduce the global oversupply.