Crude Oil Prices Move Lower with US Inventory Data in Focus

Angola falls back from leading oil production in Africa

Oil prices are expected to remain steady as the market rebalances in 2018

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil finished down on Thursday, but off its lows after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected decline in U.

The price action in the crude oil markets on Thursday suggests investors were more concerned about future demand than the weekly inventories picture.

Brent crude oil was down 62 cents at $56.32 a barrel by 1:43 p.m. ET. Prices rose 2% the day before to back above US$50 a barrel.

Crude inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels in the week to October 6, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2 million barrels.

USA crude inventories are still 13 percent above five-year averages headed into the busy winter season, despite efforts by OPEC to cut production.

Angola's production, based on direct communication, was 1.657 million barrels per day, a monthly drop of 23,000 barrels, with no data from Nigeria in this case.

In its monthly report, OPEC points the market could find support this northern Winter due to the low reserves of destilated fuel and previsions of colder temperaturas, fact that would increase the demand for heating purposes. But traders say supplies remain ample and OPEC is widely expected to extend its cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018.

The entity said the world would need 33.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of its crude next year, 230 thousand barrels morer than its previous forecast. For 2018, oil demand is expected to rise by 420,000 bpd vs 400,000 bpd previously.

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