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Oil prices fall after jump the day before; glut, economy worries weigh

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Oil fell on Thursday after soaring 8 per cent in the previous session, as worries over a glut in crude supply and concerns over a faltering global economy pressured prices even as a stock market surge offered support.

[SEOUL] Oil fell on Thursday after soaring 8 per cent in the previous session, as worries over a glut in crude supply and concerns over a faltering global economy pressured prices even as a stock market surge offered support.

Brent crude oil futures were down 8 cents, or 0.15 per cent, at US$54.39 a barrel by 0237 GMT. They rose 8 per cent to US$54.47 a barrel the day before.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 0.19 per cent to US$46.13 per barrel. They jumped 8.7 per cent to US$46.22 per barrel in the previous session.

Both crude benchmarks are down roughly 40 per cent from highs touched in October.

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Global stocks rebounded on Wednesday on the back of the Trump administration's attempt to shore up investor confidence and a report on strong US holiday spending.

Shim Hye Jin, a commodity analyst at Samsung Securities in Seoul, said oil prices were still low despite gains made the day before.

"But if Opec's cuts are fulfilled, WTI prices are expected to rise to US$50-60 a barrel, while Brent is expected to go up to between US$58-70 a barrel next year."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies including Russia, agreed at a meeting earlier this month to limit output by 1.2 million barrels per day starting in January.

Meanwhile, potentially bolstering oil prices, a preliminary Reuters poll on Wednesday forecast that US crude inventories would drop 2.7 million barrels in the week to Dec 21, marking their fourth straight week fall.

The American Petroleum Institute's (API) inventory data is due on Thursday, while the government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) is set to release its report on Friday. 

REUTERS