Oil prices steadied today, upheld by a rally in global stockmarkets which held off a possible fall due to an unprecedented spurt in oil inventories in the US and reductions in global demand forecasts.

Brent crude dropped by 73 cents to $102.23 per barrel, but then recovered sharply to trade at around $103.33 by 0900 GMT, an increase of 37 cents.

US oil rose by ten cents to $95.48, reported Reuters.

The American Petroleum Institute noted in data released on Tuesday that US oil stockpiles increased by by nine million barrels last week.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) lowered its world oil demand growth outlook for 2013 by 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 780,000 bpd.

The organisation, in its monthly report, said it anticipates demand to rise promptly during the rest of 2013, compared to in the first half of the year, mainly driven by economic revival and higher seasonal consumption.

The EIA has also reduced its world oil demand growth forecasts in 2013 and 2014 by 20,000 barrels per day.

The US energy body said in its report that oil demand in developing countries exceeded that of wealthy nations in April for the first time ever.

Image: New OPEC headquarters in Vienna. Photo courtesy of Priwo.