SINGAPORE (Feb 4): U.S. crude oil prices extended gains from the previous session on Thursday, as a weaker dollar and ongoing yet unconfirmed talk of producers potentially meeting to discuss output cuts lifted the market despite record U.S. stocks.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $32.39 per barrel at 0031 GMT on Thursday, up 11 cents from the previous session's close when they rallied 8 percent from below $30 per barrel.
Analysts said that prices had recovered support from a sliding dollar, as well as from ongoing yet unconfirmed talk of a potential meeting by major oil producers to cut output in support of prices, which have fallen around 70 percent since mid-2014.
But the main feature of oil trading in the past few weeks has been volatility, with prices lashing out up and down, with over 10 percent price swings within two trading sessions frequently occurring since mid-January.
"The weaker U.S. dollar provided some interim support to the commodity complex, but volatility in crude oil remains extreme. Climbing U.S. crude stocks remain an ongoing threat to further price weakness," ANZ bank said.
U.S. crude inventories climbed 7.8 million barrels in the week to Jan. 29 to 502.7 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 4.8 million barrels, as imports jumped and refiners trimmed throughput.
U.S. gasoline inventories also rose to a record high, soaring 5.9 million barrels to 254.4 million barrels. Analysts had forecast a 1.7 million-barrel gain in gasoline inventories.