By Alex Longley
Crude futures have pared their monthly loss this week amid a drop in U.S. stockpiles to the lowest since October, yet record American oil production has tempered price gains.
“These gains still remain fragile,” said BNP Paribas Head of Commodity-Markets Strategy Harry Tchilinguirian. “It would not take much in terms of negative economic news tied to U.S.-China trade relations to send the oil price back down.”
West Texas Intermediate for October delivery advanced 32 cents, or 0.6%, to $56.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 9:03 a.m. local time, after earlier falling as much as 35 cents.
Brent for the same month slipped 0.3% to $60.30 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $4.25 premium to WTI.
American crude stockpiles fell by 10 million barrels last week, the most since mid-July, according to the Energy Information Administration. An earlier estimate by the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute indicated a 11.1 million-barrel drop. Meanwhile, U.S. oil output rose by 1.6% to 12.5 million barrels a day, the highest in government records going back to 1983.