UPDATE 2-Oil edges up on strong China data, but rising US output caps gains

From Reuters - March 13, 2018

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged up on Wednesday after posting two days of declines at the start of the week.

Support came from a report that U.S. crude inventories are not rising as much as expected during the spring season now starting, implying healthy demand, and from strong China data.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.84 a barrel at 0225 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $64.74 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.15 percent.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to March 9, to 428 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. That compared with analysts expectations for an increase of 2 million barrels.

Support also came from China, where January-February domestic crude oil production fell 1.9 percent on the year to 30.37 million tonnes, equivalent to 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the National Statistical Bureau on Wednesday. At the same time, crude oil throughput rose 7.3 percent to 93.4 million tonnes, implying a need for more imports.

Chinas industrial output grew 7.2 percent in the first two months of the year compared with the same period last year, beating expectations of a 6.1 percent hike.

Despite this, oil markets remain relatively weak. Prices have not returned to their January highs of over $70 per barrel for Brent and almost $67 for WTI.


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