Oil slipped further below $56 a barrel on Wednesday as persistent concerns about demand countered industry data showing US crude inventories fell unexpectedly.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday that US crude inventories fell by 5.3 million barrels. Analysts expect them to rise in a Reuters poll ahead of official inventory figures due at 1530 GMT.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
Brent crude slipped 37 cents or 0.7 percent to $55.54 a barrel by 1447 GMT, giving up an earlier gain. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 31 cents to $52.30.
“Demand concerns should remain with us for some time,” Eugen Weinberg of Commerzbank said.
OPEC sees US shale output recovering further on rising oil prices
Libya needs stability, budget to sustain recent oil output rebound, says NOC chief
Brent on January 13 hit an 11-month high of $57.42, having recovered from a 21-year low below $16 in April due to a demand recovery particularly in China and huge supply cuts by OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+.
“Oil continues consolidating,” said Jeffrey Halley of brokerage OANDA. “The Saudi Arabian cuts, OPEC+ compliance above 85 percent and an insatiable demand from Asia means that oil has seen its cyclical lows for 2021.”
As well as the inventory report, in focus later on Wednesday will be the results of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. Analysts expect the Fed to stick to its dovish tone to help speed the economic recovery.
Still, the number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed 100 million as infections rise in Europe and the Americas, and Asia scrambles to contain fresh outbreaks.
China, the second-largest oil consumer, has recently seen a coronavirus resurgence, but official Chinese data showed 75 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the lowest daily rise since January 11.
- Saudi Arabia will be ‘another Germany’ in renewable energy sector: Prince Abdulaziz
- Coronavirus: COVAX to supply 355 mln vaccine doses for Eastern Med, says WHO official
- Saudi Arabia raises $5 billion via dual-tranche bonds to plug fiscal deficit
- Iran oil exports rise despite sanctions, end of Trump era may change buyer behavior
- Libya needs stability, budget to sustain recent oil output rebound, says NOC chief
- OPEC sees US shale output recovering further on rising oil prices
- World has not yet reached peak oil demand despite COVID-19 dip: IEA chief Fatih Birol