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Oil steady near US$50 amid signs US crude supply glut persisting
[NEW YORK] Oil traded near US$50 a barrel amid signs the US crude supply glut that drove prices lower will persist.
Futures were little changed in New York. Inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to have reported. While a drop of 2.2 million barrels is forecast in a Bloomberg survey before government data Wednesday, supplies are set to remain almost 100 million barrels above the five-year average.
Oil's rebound from a six-year low has faltered on signs the global surplus will be prolonged as Iran seeks to restore output after its nuclear accord with world powers. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude dipped below US$50 a barrel for the first time since April on Monday.
WTI for September delivery was at US$50.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 27 cents, at 9:08 am Sydney time. The August contract expired Tuesday after rising 21 cents to US$50.36. The volume of all futures traded was about 78 per cent below the 100-day average. Front-month prices are down 5.1 per cent this year.
Brent for September settlement gained 39 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to US$57.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Tuesday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of US$6.18 to WTI.