Crude prices rise on signs of drop in global inventories

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Market participants were looking ahead to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest report on crude oil inventories due later Wednesday, after last week's larger than expected storage build.

USA oil inventories jumped last week even as rising imports offset a partial recovery at the country's refineries.

OPEC and other producers opted to decrease production by 1.8 million barrels a day in an attempt to rebalance the oil market and support prices. As a result, there was less demand for oil from refineries and more demand for gasoline sitting in storage while less gasoline was being produced That's partly why gasoline prices spiked by almost 20 percent. The data suggesting refiners will need to step up crude processing followed robust demand growth forecasts last week from the International Energy Agency and OPEC. "Refineries are also reporting a much better recovery from the recent hurricanes", ANZ bank said on Monday.

Crude oil prices continued to climb on Wednesday, amid hopes for additional global supply cuts, while traders eyed the release of weekly USA stockpiles data due later in the day.

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An OPEC committee concluded the cartel and allied oil producers last month overshot production curbs called for in their agreement, according to two delegates. Iraq, the group's second-biggest producer, has said production should be reduced by an additional 1 percent to help rebalance the market.

Brent crude futures rose 29 cents to $55.43 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 42 cents at $49.90 a barrel, CNBC reported. Total volume traded was about 2 per cent above the 100-day average.

November WTI Crude Oil settled at settled at $50.28, down $0.07 or -0.14% and December Brent Crude oil closed at $55.15, down $0.10 or -0.18%.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, were at $55.50 per barrel at 0653 GMT, up 2 cents from their last close. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.32 to November WTI. The increase was the first in four weeks.Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish bets on U.S. crude futures and options in the week to September 12, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission reported on Friday. The October contract expires at the end of Wednesday's session.

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