Singapore Dec 29 U.S. oil prices fell on
Thursday following a surprise build in the country's crude
stocks shown in data published by the American Petroleum
Institute (API) late on Wednesday.
U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate (WTI) crude
futures were down 39 cents or 0.72 percent to $53.67 at 0033 GMT
after settling up 16 cents at $54.06 per barrel in the previous
Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade after
settling 13 cents higher at $56.22 in the previous session.
Trade remains thin as most investors are away for year-end
holidays, traders said.
The 4.2 million barrel build in U.S. crude oil stocks shown
in the API data came as a surprise. Analysts polled ahead of the
weekly inventory reports had forecast, on average, that crude
stocks would decline 2.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 23.
Instead, crude stocks rose last week as refiners cut output,
amid a drawdown in gasoline and distillate inventories. Refinery
crude runs fell by 604,000 barrels per day, API data showed.
In a potential sign that an output production cut is likely
to be adhered to, the committee of OPEC and non-OPEC producers
responsible for monitoring compliance with the production cut
agreement will meet in Vienna on Jan. 21-22, Kuwaiti oil
minister Essam Al-Marzouq told state news agency KUNA.
(Reporting by Mark Tay; Editing by Eric Meijer)