Oil prices steady following pullback driven by inventory data

Oil prices stand still in market push-pull

Crude traders demonstrated on Thursday demonstrated their ability to focus exclusively on the vaguest hint of good news rather than an abundance of clearly-defined bad news by causing Brent to close at a 27 month high of $59.30 on an 86 cent rise; West Texas Intermediate also rose, by 46 cents, to settle at a six month high of $52.54.

Inventories of USA crude rose by roughly 856,000 barrels in the week ended October 20, missing expectations of a draw of 2.6m barrels. The deal has already been extended through March 2018, but many market participants are now anticipating that it will be pushed even further out, something Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation - the world's two largest crude producers, favor, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.

For the week, Brent was 4.6 percent higher, notching its third straight weekly gain.

Crude oil pries fell in Asia on Friday with the market cautious as OPEC member and major producer Venezuela reportedly faces problems making payments on bonds issued to the state oil company PDVSA and with US rig count data ahead. Brent prices rose 4.66% this week and West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, rose 3.97%.

However, the announcement on Friday of a ceasefire between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga from the country's autonomous northern Kurdish region eased some concerns.

"So even though the dollar is giving back some of its move, crude may now be trading off of a new driver, the technical breakthrough to a new high".

Answering a question on whether he supported extending the production cut agreement, Prince Salman said "of course" and insisted that Opec "need to continue stabilizing the market", fuelling investor expectations that support for prolonged cuts is growing among Opec members.

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A weaker dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities, including oil, cheaper for holders of other currencies.

To note, one barrel equals 158,988 liters.

US oil prices slipped on Wednesday after a surprising increase in USA crude inventories, while USA gasoline futures rallied 1 per cent on a sharp falloff in inventories.

Rising U.S. crude production remains an issue for OPEC as it strives to clear a global supply overhang.

EIA reported USA crude oil production at 9.5 million barrels per day last week, 1.1 million barrels per day more than the previous week. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was more or less unchanged at $52.21 per barrel. "Using the same logic, the upside is limited, too as strong-ish USA domestic crude oil price will serve as an incentive to ramp up production".

Mr. Staunovo said UBS expects the price of Brent to stay in a range of $55 to $60 a barrel.

"It's a market we feel is rangebound (for USA crude) in the mid-$40s to mid-$50s".

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