- POSTED: 12 Sep 2013 04:16
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World oil prices ticked higher on Wednesday after two straight days of losses, despite a weaker-than-expected report on US crude-oil inventories.
NEW YORK: World oil prices ticked higher on Wednesday after two straight days of losses, despite a weaker-than-expected report on US crude-oil inventories.
New York's main crude-oil futures contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October, closed at $107.56 a barrel, up 17 cents from Tuesday.
The European benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October, rose 25 cents to $111.50 a barrel in London trade.
"We were down since the beginning of the week, two days in a row, on expectations we were not going to see an imminent attack on Syria by the US," said Gene McGillian of Tradition Energy.
"That seems to be priced in now and the market stepped back from that."
"I can only assume it (the price rise) was due to profit-taking by financial speculators who have been short the past couple of days," said Fawad Razaqzada of GFT.
The WTI contract was bid higher despite the weaker than expected decline in US crude supplies reported by the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration.
The EIA said that commercial crude inventories in the world's largest energy consumer slid by 219,000 barrels in the week ending September 6.
That suggested weaker demand and was far less than the consensus decline of 1.4 million barrels expected by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
But the EIA report showed another drop in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub, "providing a bit of support" in the market, McGillian said.
"It took more than a year for Cushing inventories to rise from 34.1 million barrels to their peak of 51.1 million in mid-April, but it has taken less than five months to reverse that entire build," said Chris Lafakis of Moody's Analytics.
The oil market had plunged by more than $2 on Tuesday, sliding for the second day in a row on easing fears of a possible US military strike on Syria.
In a televised address to the nation from the White House late Tuesday, President Barack Obama put on hold a planned military strike against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, in response to Russia's offer to oversee Syria giving up its arsenal.
However he warned that it was too early to tell if Russia's plan would work.