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November 21, 2018

Oil prices rebound on fall in US crude inventories and Indian imports

Oil prices have rebounded by more than 1%, which is supported by an unexpected decline in US commercial crude inventories and record Indian crude imports.

Oil prices have rebounded by more than 1%, which is supported by an unexpected decline in US commercial crude inventories and record Indian crude imports.

Brent crude oil futures increased by 86 cents, or 1.4%, to trade at $63.39 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 90 cents, or 1.7%, to reach $54.33, Reuters reported.

The benchmark futures recovered after falling 6% on the previous day amid a global stock market selloff.

Despite the recovery, investors remained on edge as the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned of unprecedented uncertainty in oil markets caused by a difficult economic situation and political risk.

“The global economy is still going through a very difficult time and is very fragile.”

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the US commercial crude inventories dropped 1.5 million barrels to 439.2 million, for the week ending 16 November.

Traders stated that prices were also lifted by record crude imports by India of almost five million barrels per day (Mbpd).

IEA chief Fatih Birol was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The global economy is still going through a very difficult time and is very fragile.”

Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is looking to reduce production by 1.4Mbpd to prevent oversupply.

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe oil analyst Ashley Kelty said: “We would anticipate further weakness until the reaction from OPEC+ (6 December) and the G20 summit is clearer (30 November/1 December).”

Since early last month, Brent and WTI prices respectively reduced by 28% and 30%.

According to US investment firm Tortoise energy portfolio manager James Mick, rising US crude output has been part of the supply issue.

The US production has increased by almost 25% this year to a record 11.7Mbpd.

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