Oil steadies above $60, Jackson Hole summit in focus
LONDON, Aug 22: Oil steadied above $60 a barrel on Thursday, supported by a drop in US crude inventories and OPEC-led supply cuts, although worries about the global economy weighed.
US crude inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels last week, more than analysts expected. Still, the US Energy Information Administration also said gasoline and distillate inventories rose.
Brent crude LCOc1 rose 15 cents to $60.45 a barrel by 0858 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 added 29 cents to $55.97.
Traders across the board are awaiting a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that could indicate whether the central bank will continue to cut interest rates.
"Today prices are basically unchanged in the same relatively small range," said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. "The focus now is going to be on Jackson Hole, I think, to the end of the week."
The price of Brent is up by 12 per cent this year, supported by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and export cuts in Iran and Venezuela which are under US sanctions.
Iran on Wednesday said if its oil exports are cut to zero, international waterways would not have the same security as before, cautioning Washington against raising pressure on Tehran.
But a slowdown in economic growth amid the US-China trade dispute and Brexit has been pressuring prices and forecasters such as the International Energy Agency have been lowering forecasts for world oil demand.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was "the chosen one" to address trade imbalances with China, even as congressional researchers warned his tariffs would reduce US economic output by 0.3per cent in 2020. -Reuters