Crude oil futures hovered above $83 a barrel Wednesday ahead of a weekly report on US oil supplies as well as Thursday's OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna.
Crude-oil futures turned weaker Thursday, erasing early strong gains after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stopped short of signaling imminent new Fed action to stimulate the economy. Oil rigs are seen in Midland, Texas, in this file photo. Oil rigs are seen in Midland, Texas, in this file photo.
Light sweet crude for July delivery declined 0.13 percent or 11 cents to $83.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange during European trading hours. Brent crude oil futures for July delivery gained 0.25 percent or 24 cents to $97.38 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
After the markets open Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due to report weekly inventory data that are expected to show that stockpiles fell by 1.4 million barrels last week.
Oil futures declined slightly during Asian trading hours Wednesday as optimism was tempered amid speculation that OPEC will keep production quotas unchanged despite a recent dip in crude prices.
OPEC is almost certain to maintain its official output ceiling at 30 million barrels per day at its meeting Thursday. Oil prices have plunged more than 23 percent in the last one month, following concerns over the deepening euro zone sovereign debt crisis and waning global oil demand.
Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Tuesday that Saudi wouldn't ask OPEC to increase its production levels at this week's meeting. On Monday, he said that OPEC might need to raise its production ceiling above 30 million barrels a day for the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday that crude inventories had increased by 1.6 million barrels for the week ending June 8.
On Tuesday, light sweet crude for July delivery rose 62 cents and settled at $83.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange despite signs of high supplies in the global oil market.
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