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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brent rebounds towards $57 after U.S. crude stocks fall

Oil prices drop after Saudi Arabia says it will not cut output alone By Henning Gloystein SINGAPORE Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:47pm EDT Share this Email Print An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking (Reuters) - Oil prices dropped around a percentage point in early Asian trade on Monday after Saudi Arabia said over the weekend that it would not unilaterally cut its output to defend prices. Since oil prices started to fall in June 2014, many analysts have expected Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest producer, to curb its output. Yet Riyadh has so far opted to keep output stable in a move to defend market share against non-OPEC producers like Russia and the United States, where production has soared as a result of the shale exploration boom. "We tried, we held meetings and we did not succeed because countries (outside OPEC) were insisting that OPEC carry the burden and we refuse that OPEC bears the responsibility," Naimi said. "The production of OPEC is 30 percent of the market, 70 percent from non-OPEC ... everybody is supposed to participate if we want to improve prices," Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said on Sunday. Benchmark Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 was trading at $54.79 a barrel at 0123 GMT, down 53 cents from their last settlement. U.S. WTI crude CLc1 was down 58 cents at $45.99 a barrel. (Editing by Joseph Radford) ======================== By Keith Wallis SINGAPORE Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:44pm EDT An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking (Reuters) - Brent crude rose towards $57 a barrel on Wednesday, paring some of the previous session's sharp losses, after data showed U.S. crude stocks fell for the first time in two months. The benchmark closed nearly 4 percent down in the previous session on a rallying U.S. dollar and before an industry group said U.S. crude inventories fell by 404,000 barrels last week. Analysts had expected a 4.4 million barrel build in stocks. Brent for April delivery LCOc1 rose 27 cents to $56.66 a barrel by 2327 ET after dropping $2.14, or 3.66 percent, in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate for April delivery CLC1 climbed 56 cents to $48.85 a barrel after falling $1.71, or 3.42 percent. "The sell-off was overdone," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Sydney's Ayer's Alliance. "I think it was more of a knee-jerk reaction because of the substantial build (of oil stocks) at Cushing," he told Reuters. U.S. crude inventories in the week to March 6 fell to 439.4 million barrels, while crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 2.2 million barrels, data from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), said on Tuesday. [API/S] The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration will release official stockpile data later on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect a stock increase of 4.4 million barrels for the week ended March 6. [EIA/S] With the U.S. dollar near to multi-year highs against a raft of currencies "oil has done very well to hold on. Brent is still trading through $55 a barrel", Barratt said. A strong greenback makes commodities including more expensive for holders of other currencies. Barratt said recent economic news had also been broadly encouraging and "if U.S. crude doesn't break below $48.50 again this is a great time to buy". The number of job openings in the U.S. in January rose to the highest in 14 years, figures from the Labor Department on Tuesday showed even as U.S. sales recorded their biggest decline since 2009. Data due on Wednesday, including industrial output and retail sales in February in China, the world's top energy consumer, could give further direction. The United States will also issue its Federal budget for February. The oil markets have also priced in geopolitical risks including Libya where two eastern oil fields have been shut following an attack by Islamist militants, an oil official said on Tuesday. (Reporting by Keith Wallis; Editing by Ed Davies)

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