MTECHTIPS;-Oil claws back some losses; U.S. crude set for steepest

MTECHTIPS;-Oil claws back some losses; U.S. crude set for steepest fall in a year

MTECHTIPS – Oil prices rose 1 percent on Thursday, clawing back some of the losses made a day earlier, but U.S. crude is on track for the steepest monthly losses in more than a year on demand concerns after floods knocked out a quarter of U.S. refining capacity. Prices also rallied in the oil products markets, with U.S. gasoline futures (RBc1) hitting a two-year high above $2 a gallon, buoyed by fears of a fuel shortage just days ahead of the Labor Day weekend that typically brings a surge in driving. Hurricane Harvey, which brought record flooding to the U.S. oil heartland of Texas and killed at least 35 people, has paralyzed at least 4.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity, according to company reports and Reuters estimates. The shutdowns also led the U.S. government to tap its strategic oil reserves for the first time in five years on Thursday, releasing 500,000 barrels of crude to a working refinery in Louisiana. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were set to close the month down 7 percent, their steepest monthly loss since July 2016. They were trading 1.4 percent up at $46.58 a barrel at 1352 GMT. “The current steep recovery follows yesterday’s steep drop. The sell-off was bigger than expected and we see some bargain hunting now,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. International benchmark Brent crude (LCOc1) was up 58 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $51.44 a barrel. It had fallen more than 2 percent in the previous session

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