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Oil Rises as US Inventories Reach New Record


  • Oil prices edge higher on Wednesday, but are trading below 2015 highs.
  • US crude oil inventories rise for 15th consecutive week, climbing 5.3 million to 489 million barrels.
  • US dollar index unchanged at 98.00.

The price of oil rose on Wednesday after a government report showed US crude inventories rose faster than forecast last week.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for June delivery advanced 0.6 percent or 33 cents to $56.94 a barrel in New York’s morning session. Benchmark US crude has traded above $50 a barrel for more than two weeks.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, advanced 1.2 percent or 74 cents to $62.82 a barrel.

US Crude Stockpiles Reach a New 80-Year High

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported another record build in US commercial crude inventories on Wednesday. Inventories increased by 5.3 million barrels to 489 million in the week ended April 17, well above the consensus forecast of around 2.9 million. Last week inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels to 483.7 million.

Commercial inventories have risen to record highs in each of the past 15 weeks, according to the EIA.

The EIA also reported another fall in overall production. US production decreased by 18,000 barrels per day last week, a decline of 0.19 percent.

Middle East Tension

Continued fighting in Yemen is also helping to prop up oil prices, as concerns about a supply disruption in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea weighed on the markets .On Tuesday Saudi Arabia said it is ending its month-long aerial campaign targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Weak Dollar

The US dollar has backtracked this week, sliding against a basket of trade-weighted peers. The dollar index reached a low of 97.43 on Wednesday before consolidating at 98.00. The Commerce Department will report on new home sales and durable goods orders in the coming days, which could impact sentiment.

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