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Oil prices steady, but inventory build drags

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Crude futures were steady on Wednesday, but ballooning volumes in storage around the world were expected to pressure prices.

[SINGAPORE] Crude futures were steady on Wednesday, but ballooning volumes in storage around the world were expected to pressure prices.

Brent oil futures were trading at US$55.13 a barrel at 0229 GMT and US WTI crude was at US$47.48 a barrel - both virtually unchanged from their last settlement. "Another week, another record US commercial stock level,"said US-based PIRA Energy.

US crude stockpiles were forecast to extend their record build into an eleventh consecutive week.

A poll of eight analysts, taken ahead of weekly reports from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, showed a crude stock build of 5.1 million barrels on average last week.

PIRA said that Japanese crude stocks had also risen slightly due to higher imports and spring-time refinery maintenance.

REUTERS

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