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[TOKYO] Oil halted four days of gains, holding near the highest in three months, before data forecast to show US crude stockpiles expanded.
Futures were little changed in New York after climbing 9.3 per cent in the last four sessions. Crude stockpiles probably rose by 1.75 million barrels last week, gaining for the first time in five weeks, a Bloomberg survey showed before a government report on Wednesday.
Libyan production rose to 500,000 barrels a day and will rise further this month, according to a state oil company official.
Oil in September capped the biggest monthly gain in five months after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to trim supply for the first time in eight years.
While quotas will be decided at the group's official meeting in Vienna on Nov 30, Nigeria and Iran have said they are exempt and Iraq has said it doesn't accept Opec's estimates of its production levels. Russia boosted output last month to a post-Soviet record.
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at US$48.73 a barrel, down 8 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:22am in Tokyo. The contract rose 57 US cents to US$48.81 on Monday, the highest close since July 1.
Brent for December settlement increased 70 US cents, or 1.4 per cent, to US$50.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday, the highest close for front-month prices since Aug 18.
The global benchmark closed at a US$1.49 premium to WTI for December delivery.