* U.S. crude stocks rise for second consecutive week
* Crude inventories up 614,000 barrel in week to Dec. 23 -
* Gasoline, distillate stocks fall unexpectedly
* Oil prices to face $60/bbl price cap in 2017 - Reuters
By Mark Tay
Singapore, Dec 30 U.S. oil prices rose in early
Asian trade on Friday shrugging off a second consecutive week of
crude oil inventory builds, with a U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA) report late on Thursday indicating an
unexpected rise in crude stocks.
U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate (WTI) crude
futures were up 18 cents or 0.33 percent to $53.95 at 0021 GMT
after settling 29 cents lower at $53.77 per barrel in the
Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade after
settling 8 cents lower at $56.14 in the previous session.
Crude inventories were up 614,000 barrels in
the week to Dec. 23, the EIA data showed, compared with
analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.1 million barrel.
Despite the unexpected rise in crude stocks, the EIA data
published on Thursday showed a significantly smaller rise in
crude stocks compared with Wednesday's American Petroleum
Institute (API) data that indicated a 4.2 million barrel build
in U.S. crude oil stocks in the same period. [ ]
"Today's Department of Energy report was positive for light
products due to draws in gasoline and distillate inventories
compared to consensus' build expectations," British bank
Barclays said in a note.
Gasoline stocks fell 1.6 million barrels,
compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3
The market is likely to have focused on the surprise draw in
product stocks and taken on a slightly more bullish view towards
the WTI contract, traders said.
Oil prices will gradually rise towards $60 per barrel by the
end of 2017, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday, with further
upside capped by a strong dollar, a likely recovery in U.S. oil
output and possible non-compliance by OPEC with agreed cuts.
(Reporting by Mark Tay; Editing by Michael Perry)