Oil bounces off November lows, but bloated U.S. stockpiles pressure market | Reuters
By Henning Gloystein | SINGAPORE SINGAPORE Oil prices on Thursday recovered from losses chalked up the session before, but the market remains under pressure as bloated U.S. crude inventories and rising output dampen OPEC-led efforts to curb global production.Prices for front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil, were at $50.95 per barrel at 0033 GMT, up 31 cents from their last close.
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE Oil prices on Thursday recovered from losses chalked up the session before, but the market remains under pressure as bloated U.S. crude inventories and rising output dampen OPEC-led efforts to curb global production.Prices for front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil, were at $50.95 per barrel at 0033 GMT, up 31 cents from their last close. That came after Brent briefly dipped below $50 a barrel the previous session for the first time since November. [nL3N1GZ1KO]In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 33 cents at $48.38 a barrel, after testing support at $47 a barrel overnight.
Despite the bounce on Thursday, traders said that prices remained under pressure, largely due to a bloated U.S. market and doubts that an effort led by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output were having the desired effect of reining in a global fuel supply overhang. [nL3N1GU1GS]Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader, said OPEC was "underwriting the investment plans and returns of their competition in U.S. shale oil".
McKenna said there was a risk of oil prices dropping further due to U.S. output and a lack of compliance by some producers who said they would cut production.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. inventories climbed almost 5 million barrels to a record 533.1 million last week, far outpacing forecasts of a 2.8 million-barrel build. [nL2N1GZ0R4]The high inventories come as U.S. oil production C-OUT-T-EIA has risen over 8 percent since mid-2016 to more than 9.13 million barrels per day (bpd) to levels comparable in late 2014, when the oil market slump started. (Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.