SINGAPORE (Jan 19): U.S. oil on Thursday moved away from one-week lows touched the session before, with investors turning their attention to upcoming government data on U.S. inventories.
Sentiment in oil markets has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading up 38 cents at $51.46 per barrel at 0035 GMT, after dropping to a one-week low on Wednesday at $50.91 a barrel.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was yet to trade after closing down 2.8 percent in the last session.
"The IEA (International Energy Agency) said it expects higher oil prices to trigger a significant boost in U.S. shale output," ANZ said in a note.
"This is broadly in line with our estimate. However, we still expect the global oil market to move into a significant deficit in the first half of 2017."
The market is seeking direction from weekly inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), due at 1600 GMT. It has been delayed by a day due to a U.S. public holiday on Monday.
Meanwhile, OPEC, excluding Indonesia, pumped 33.085 million barrels per day last month, according to figures the organisation collects from secondary sources, down 221,000 bpd from November, it said in a monthly report on Wednesday. The figures showed the biggest reduction came from Saudi Arabia.
OPEC and other non-OPEC producers in November and December pledged to cut oil output by nearly 1.8 million bpd, initially for six months, to bring supplies back in line with consumption.
The dollar, which influences moves in greenback-priced commodities, inched up against the yen and kept broad gains against other major peers. - Reuters