Oil prices rebound

Oil prices rebounded slightly Tuesday after recent sharp losses caused by an oversupplied market.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery rose 39 cents to $49.84 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for April climbed 59 cents to stand at $59.49 a barrel in London afternoon deals.

WTI shed $1.36 in New York and Brent lost $1.32 on Monday, building on heavy losses last Friday, as US crude stockpiles linger at historic levels, contributing to a global oversupply.

A closely watched report on US weekly crude stockpiles is next due on Wednesday, with a Bloomberg News survey saying inventories are expected to have risen by 3.75 million barrels.

US oil stockpiles are already at their highest level on record at this time of year.

"The expectation of further rising US crude oil stocks is pressuring prices," said Commerzbank analysts in a note to clients.

Globally, crude supplies are also being boosted after oilfields in eastern Libya resumed pumping to the port of Hariga after a pipeline was repaired, and oil producer Oman plans to ramp up output to 980,000 barrels a day this year.

"The partial return of supply from Libya is weighing on the Brent price despite its sustainability being anything but certain," said Commerzbank.

Crude prices lost about 60 percent of their value to about $40 between June and late January owing to an oversupply in world markets, a weak global economy and a strong dollar.

Prices have risen above multi-year lows following a slowdown in US oil drilling activities, but analysts say volatility is likely to continue for some time.

"It is apparent by now that drilling in the US will slow, global production growth is expected to be lower, and demand, at least in the US, is reacting positively to lower prices," British bank Barclays said in a report.

"In short, the market is forecast to remain oversupplied for most of 2015, but expectations beyond that are for more balanced fundamentals."

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.7698-0.0035-0.45%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5183-0.0011-0.21%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.7093-0.001-0.15%
    AUDEUR=X