Global oil prices ease on doubts

| Updated: October 21, 2017 13:28:09

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Oil prices eased on Wednesday, pulled down by caution that a rally that lasted for most of the third quarter would not extend through the last three months of the year.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $50.16 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down 26 cents, or 0.5 per cent, from their last close. They fell below $50 per barrel earlier in the session.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 22 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $55.78 a barrel, reports Reuters.

The drops came over concerns that a third-quarter market rally that had lifted Brent to mid-2015 highs by late September had been overdone.

Traders said that a so-called market rebalancing is now well underway, meaning that demand is no longer undershooting available supply.

The re-balancing is a result of strong consumption and also due to efforts led by the OPEC to cut output by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and the first quarter of next year.

But rising production in the United States, which is not participating in the deal to cut output, has prevented prices from climbing further.

US production C-OUT-T-EIA hit 9.55 million bpd in late September, its highest level since July 2017 and not far off its 9.61 million bpd record from June 2015.

Traders said they would be watching for fuel inventory data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), due to be published later on Wednesday, for further market guidance.

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