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Oil Prices Ease On Signs Of U.S. Supply Build

Oil futures slipped Wednesday as industry data pointed at rising U.S. oil stockpiles and on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar, which tends to dent commodities priced in the currency.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil for March delivery fell 9 cents, or 0.2percent, at $53.57 a barrel.
International benchmark April Brent was down 11 cents, or 0.2percent, to $61.87 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. It was down over 1percent earlier in the day.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, released weekly inventory data late Tuesday that showed U.S. crude stockpiles had built by 2.5 million barrels last week. Still, the number is below that expected in another survey.

On average, analysts expect the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to officially report a rise of 3.7 million barrels in crude stockpiles for the week ended Feb. 1, according to a survey conducted by S&P Global Platts. They also expect that gasoline and distillate inventories each posted gains of 1.7 million barrels.

The state of an oversupplied global market remains a key issue for price action causing OPEC and 10 partner producers agreeing late last year, to hold back crude output by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first half of 2019, in an effort to soak up that global supply glut and rebalance the market. OPEC, excluding Iran, Libya and Venezuela, agreed to handle 800,000 barrels a day of those cuts.

Source: MarketWatch

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