The oil price held steady at more than $79 a barrel on Wednesday 4 November, after rising nearly 2% following an industry report showing a rise in fuel inventories in the US.

Initial losses were kept in check as gold held near-record highs and traders awaited separate US Government oil inventory data, as well as a Federal Reserve statement on interest rates and the economy, reported Reuters.

US crude for December rose $0.04 to $79.64 a barrel by 07.23 GMT (2.23am EST), after settling up $1.47 on Tuesday.

London Brent crude shed $0.01 to $78.10 a barrel.

Industry group American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that US gasoline stocks rose by 501,000 barrels last week against forecasts for a 300,000-barrel increase.

Distillate supplies increased by 1.8 million barrels versus predictions for a 1 million-barrel decline, according to the institute.

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By GlobalData

The API said commercial crude oil stocks fell 3.3 million barrels as imports dropped in the week to 30 October, versus expectations for a 1.4 million-barrel rise.