Oil Prices Recover After Slumpibg 4% On Inventory Build

Oil prices saw a recovery on Thursday in Asia after a hike in the previous session after data pointing to an unexpected inventory build last week.

US WTI crude futures had gone up 0.4% to $51.34 by 12:57 AM (04:57 GMT). The international benchmark for oil prices, Brent crude gained 0.9% tp $69.49.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its regular weekly report on Wednesday that crude oil inventories increased by 2.21 million barrels last week. That was compared to forecasts for a stockpile draw of 0.48 million barrels after a surge of 6.77 million barrels in the previous week.

The EIA report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 0.76 million barrels, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.74 million barrels, although distillate stockpiles fell unexpectedly by 1 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a build of 1.14 million.

Oil prices sank as much as 4% following the release.

The data came after the EIA slashed forecasts for 2019 world demand growth in a monthly report on Tuesday.

Looking forward, traders will pay close attention to the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), due later this month, to see if it would continue with oil production cuts.

The energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, said earlier this week that OPEC members were close to reaching an agreement to continue reducing output.