Oil prices slipped on Thursday after two days of increases as bloated U.S. inventories limited the impact of supply disruptions in Libya and lower output from other OPEC exporters. Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 30 cents at $52.12 a barrel by 0945 GMT (5:45 a.m. ET). U.S. crude oil CLc1 was 10 cents lower at $49.41. Both benchmark crude contracts rose more than $1 a barrel on Wednesday to their highest levels for two weeks, rebounding from four-month lows. The futures contracts appeared to be searching for a new trading range, brokers said.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.764945;
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.146384;
American Dollar to Euro = 1.162761;
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008995;
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.053660.
Brent (LCOc1) eased 20 cents to $48.95 a barrel by 1131 GMT. On Wednesday it hit a low of $48.71, the weakest since Oct. 5. U.S. crude (CLc1) fell 54 cents to $46.10 a barrel after settling down 2 cents at $46.64. Both benchmarks are down around 7 percent so far this week. Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude stocks rose by 9.4 million barrels in the week to Oct. 9 to 465.96 million, versus analyst forecasts for a 2.8 million barrels build.
The oil market is now in balance due to unplanned outages and robust demand, particularly from emerging economies, but this equilibrium will tip into surplus again early in 2017, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. U.S. output will shrink by 150,000 barrels a day in the quarter 3 2016 compared with the first half as producers cut production due to a low oil price environment. Front-month US crude futures CLc1 were down 56 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $47.45 a barrel at 0043 GMT. Unfortunately, the IEA believes the past three years of supply build at an average rate close to 1 million barrels per day still mean an "enormous inventory overhang" must be cleared before the industry can expect any significant increase in oil prices. It said India would drive oil demand growth with China adding some support to that demand growth.