SINGAPORE – Oil prices edged up in Asia on Thursday after slumping for five-straight sessions to a three-month low once a surprise jump in US stockpiles built on increasing worries about a global supply glut.
US energy department data showed on Wednesday that inventories were 13.4 percent higher on-year, while gasoline stocks were up 11.8 percent, indicating that demand remained weak while the peak holiday driving season came to a close.
The news sent Brent tumbling three percent and West Texas Intermediate more than two percent down to sit at levels not seen since April, with both contracts now down about a fifth from their 2016 highs above $50 early last month.
On Thursday, bargain-buyers moved in, helped by a weaker dollar after Federal Reserve indicated any US interest rate increase would be slow and measured.
At about 0630 GMT, US Benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up six cents to $41.98 a barrel while North Sea Brent was up five cents at $43.52.