Oil Steady as Tighter U.S. Market Balances OPEC Supply

Oil prices rose steadied on Thursday, supported by signs of a tightening U.S. market but weighed down by ample supplies from OPEC producers.

Benchmark Brent crude was up 5 cents at $52.41 a barrel by 1145 GMT. U.S. light crude was 5 cents higher at $49.64.

Strong demand in the United States has been supporting prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported record gasoline demand of 9.84 million barrels per day (bpd) for last week, and a fall in commercial crude inventories of 1.5 million barrels to 481.9 million barrels C-STK-T-EIA,

That’s below levels seen this time last year, an indication of a tightening U.S. market.

But traders say high production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is capping prices.

OPEC and other producers including Russia have promised to restrict output by 1.8 million bpd until March 2018 to help support prices and draw down inventories.

read more/source: http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL4N1KP1OQ

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