Oil Takes Positive Turn

Oil Takes Positive TurnOil Takes Positive Turn

Oil reversed early losses to turn positive on Tuesday, as investors awaited crude oil inventory data from the United States that was expected to show a shrinking supply overhang.

Brent futures gained 26 cents to $48.34 a barrel, after closing down 37 cents in the previous session. US crude futures rose 14 cents to $48.49 a barrel, having settled down 33 cents the day before, Reuters reported. Commercial crude stocks in the US likely fell by around 2.5 million barrels to 538.8 million in the week ended May 20, a Reuters poll showed.

Oil was stronger earlier in the session, gaining support from a report that Iraq’s oil output has reached 4.7 million barrels per day and exports are running at a record 3.9 million bpd.

However, Falah Alamri, Iraq’s OPEC governor and head of the State Oil Marketing Organization, said at a conference in London that a decision to stop production of 170,000 bpd of Kirkuk crude and the impact of bad weather and maintenance had slowed output.

A strike in France also limited the market’s gains by denting crude demand in Europe, as refineries were disrupted by pickets.

French police using water cannon and tear gas broke up a strike picket blocking access to a large oil refinery in the southern port area of Marseille in a government-versus-union showdown over labor law reforms.