Bearish IEA Demand Outlook Could Pressure Prices

Brent crude oil was down 62 cents at $56.32 a barrel by 1:43 p.m. ET.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled lower on Thursday as a bearish outlook on global oil demand for 2018 offset data showing oil stockpiles fell for the third-straight week.

The monthly OPEC oil market report noted that, based on secondary sources, Angola produced 1.641 million barrels in September, a monthly drop of 2,900 barrels, while Nigeria increased production by 50,800 barrels to 1.855 million barrels.

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. Though Brent and WTI futures were responding negatively to the crude stock-build reported by the API early Thursday, the market will be looking to the corresponding EIA data later in the day for validation. Platts survey showed analysts expecting a draw of 1.4 million barrels in gasoline and a draw of 1.64 million barrels in distillate stocks.

The International Energy Agency said on Thursday demand for OPEC oil would be 32.5 million bpd next year - around 150,000 bpd lower than the group pumped last month.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, rose by roughly 2.5m barrels, confounding expectations of a draw of 480,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by about 1.5m barrels, missing expectations of a decline of 2.2m barrels.

US crude oil prices trim earlier losses after USA government data showed domestic crude stockpiles falling for the third week in a row; WTI now -0.9% at $50.84/bbl. But traders say supplies remain ample and OPEC is widely expected to extend its cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018.

"Our forecast of global demand growth remains unchanged at 1.6 million barrels per day in 2017, or 1.6 percent, and 1.4 million barrels per day in 2018, or 1.4 percent", said the report.

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