Brent crude futures were down 4 cents at $60.57 a barrel by 1024
GMT, erasing earlier gains. They had dropped by 1.6% on
Wednesday and the contract is set for a monthly decline of about
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 14
cents at $54.92. On the month, however, they are set for a rise
of about 1.4%, its biggest monthly gain since June.
Factory activity in China shrank for a sixth straight month in
October while growth in the country's service sector activity
was its slowest since February 2016, official data showed on
A protracted trade war between China and the United States has
been weighing on the demand outlook for oil.
Releasing third-quarter results, Royal Dutch Shell warned that
uncertain economic conditions could slow its $25 billion share
buyback program, the world's largest, and had led to a downward
revision to its oil price outlook.
The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates for a third time
this year on Wednesday, looking to bolster economic growth with
a move that could also boost demand for crude.
Yet gains are likely to be capped until inventories start to
show sustained declines.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 5.7 million barrels in the week
to Oct. 25, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on
Wednesday, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of
494,000 barrels. [EIA/S]
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S.
crude futures rose for a fourth straight week, gaining 1.6
million barrels last week, the EIA said.
"The U.S. stock report was anything but encouraging," PVM
analysts said in a note.
The American Petroleum Institute had previously reported a
decline of 708,000 barrels, raising hopes that official figures
would also show a fall. [API/S]
Cushioning the bearish crude data, the EIA showed gasoline and
distillate inventories continued to draw.
(Additional reporting by Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in TOKYO;
Editing by David Goodman)
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