Oil prices clawed back a little ground Thursday, a day after a big drop precipitated by an increase in U.S. crude inventories.
Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 15 cents to $101.76 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York
Mercantile Exchange. The contract for the benchmark grade fell $1.88 to close at $101.61 on Wednesday. The American Petroleum Institute
said crude supplies rose by 2.7 million barrels to 366.5 million barrels for the week ending Oct. 4. The U.S. Energy Department said
supplies rose by 6.8 million barrels. The jump in stockpiles comes at a time of year when demand from oil refineries is seasonally weak.
“Supply is relatively plentiful and inventories are building up again as the summer driving season ends,” said Ric Spooner, chief market
analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. Oil prices have bounced between $101 and $104 a barrel after the U.S. government was forced to
partially halt operations last week. The shutdown occurred after Congress failed to pass a bill on short-term funding for the nation
past the end of the government’s fiscal year on Sept. 30. Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, rose 45 cents to $109.51 a barrel
on the ICE Futures exchange in London. In other energy futures trading on Nymex: — Wholesale gasoline rose 1.3 cents to $2.636 per
gallon. — Natural gas rose 3.8 cents to $3.717 per 1,000 cubic feet. — Heating oil rose 0.7 cent to $3.024 per gallon. – UNB