Oil prices rebound from steep dive

London: Oil prices rebounded Wednesday from recent steep losses in the previous session, as traders awaited the latest snapshot of US crude inventories.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in July rose 59 cents to $58.58 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for July gained 83 cents to stand at $64.85 a barrel in London early afternoon deals.

“Prices have bounced back a little following yesterday´s 3.0-percent drop,” said analyst Fawad Razaqzada at trading site Forex.com.

“Speculators are exercising some caution ahead of the official supply data today.”

Later on Wednesday, the US government´s Department of Energy will publish its weekly inventories data for the week to May 15.

The US Department of Energy is expected to report stockpiles fell by two million barrels in the week ending May 15, according to Bloomberg News. They still remain near their highest levels on record, however.
“Although stockpiles are expected to fall, the crude production level in the US is still on a high side and we expect it to rise further,” said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Both oil contracts fell sharply Tuesday on worries about the crude oversupply and as the greenback soared against other major currencies, making dollar-priced oil more expensive and denting demand.

The dollar strengthened against the euro after a European Central Bank official said the bank would ramp up its asset-purchase stimulus programme in May and June to offset an expected financial market slowdown in the coming months.

A robust report on US housing construction also lifted the greenback.
“The strengthening of the dollar… was the reason for the three percent decline in crude prices yesterday,” added Ang.

“The subsequent rebound we see today is due to bargain-hunting and the market forces readjusting to normal trading.”