MTECHTIPS:-Crude Oil Prices Steady as Focus Shifts to U.S. Stockpile

MTECHTIPS:-Crude Oil Prices Steady as Focus Shifts to U.S. Stockpile Data

Crude oil prices held steady on Tuesday, 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 (2030 GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 2.5 million barrels, which would mark the fifth weekly decline in a row. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures was little changed at $51.91 a barrel by 3:05 AM ET (0705 GMT). Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was stable at $57.41 a barrel. Oil prices eked out a small gain on Monday as traders weighed disruptions in Iraqi oil production and a drop in U.S. drilling activity. They received another boost amid expectations that major global producers will extend a deal to curb production beyond its current expiry date next March. The original deal, struck nearly a year ago between OPEC and 10 other non-OPEC countries led by Russia, was to cut production by 1.8 million barrels a day for six months. The agreement was extended in May of this year for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices

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