MTECHTIPS;-Oil pulls back from 7-week highs as focus shifts to U.S.

MTECHTIPS;-Oil pulls back from 7-week highs as focus shifts to U.S. stockpile data

MTECHTIPS;- Oil prices fell sharply during North American morning hours on Wednesday, pulling back from the prior session’s seven-week highs as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30 PM ET (21:30 GMT) later on Wednesday. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Thursday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock rise of 3.3 million barrels. The reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday’s President’s Day holiday. Last week’s numbers showed U.S. output helped boost crude and gasoline inventories to record highs, feeding concerns about a global glut. Crude oil for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 67 cents, or around 1.2%, to $53.67 a barrel by 9:35 AM ET (14:35 GMT). The U.S. benchmark reached $55.03 on Tuesday, a level not seen since January 3. Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 71 cents, or about 1.2%, to $55.95 a barrel, after touching $57.31 a day earlier, just shy of its highest level of the year. Oil prices rallied after OPEC Secretary-general Mohammad Parkinson said compliance rate among cartel members who agreed to participate in the production cut deal is expected to increase above the current 90%.
Oil inventories would decline further this year, he added.
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