Oil steadies as surprise U.S. stockbuild weighs

LONDON (Reuters) -Oil steadied on Wednesday after earlier losses sparked by an unexpected rise in U.S. crude oil inventories, and as President Donald Trump rattled markets by threatening not to sign a long-awaited U.S. COVID-19 relief bill.

Brent crude futures were up 2 cents to $50.10 a barrel at 1322 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures eased 1 cent to $47.01 a barrel. Both contracts fell nearly $1 earlier in the session.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for 3.2 million barrel draw.

“The API set the U.S. glut alarm bells ringing,” Stephen Brennock of oil brokerage PVM said.

Oil also took a hit after Trump threatened not to sign an $892 billion coronavirus relief bill, saying he wants Congress to increase the amount in the stimulus checks that lawmakers approved on Monday. Reuters News

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