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Crude Oil Prices Mixed In Asia With WTI Edging Down After API Estimates

Crude mixed in Asia - Crude oil prices were mixed in Asia on Wednesday with US WTI showing a slight dip ahead of official data on weekly inventories in the United States

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for March delivery fell 0.03% to $59.17 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.37% to trade at $62.80 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday said its weekly estimates of U.S. crude stocks showed a build of 3.947 million barrels, more than the 2.825 million barrels gain seen.

Gasoline inventories rose 4.634 million barrels, above the 1.229 million barrels expected and distillates rose 1.095 million barrels, compared to a 1.130 million barrels decline seen. Supplies at the oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 2.319 million barrels.

The estimates will be followed by official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday. The API and EIA figures often diverge.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled lower for a second straight day after the International Energy Agency’s gloomy monthly report stoked investor fears that rising US oil output would derail OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market.

Non-OPEC production, led by the US, is likely to grow by more than demand in 2018, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The energy body warned, however, that the underlying oil market fundamentals appeared “less supportive for prices” so far this year.

While the IEA raised its demand growth outlook to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, investors were concerned with the energy watchdog’s bearish view on supply, warning that higher US oil production – expected soon to overtake that of Saudi Arabia – could reverse the trend of falling oil stockpiles.

The IEA report echoed some of the findings observed in the OPEC monthly report released Monday, showing the oil cartel revised upward its estimate for non-OPEC output to a total of 59.26 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, 320,000 bpd higher than its previous forecast.

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