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Oil edges up but rising crude supply checks gains

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03/15/2018 | 09:00pm CEST
File photo of a worker walking past a pump jack on an oil field owned by Bashneft, Bashkortostan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher in choppy trade on Thursday after the International Energy Agency said global oil demand is expected to pick up this year, but warned supply is growing at a faster pace.

Prices notched their second consecutive day of gains, as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude <CLc1> futures rose 23 cents to settle at $61.19 a barrel, a 0.4 percent gain. Brent crude <LCOc1> futures rose 23 cents to settle at $65.12 a barrel.

Rising global oil demand, along with supply constraints from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has helped keep oil above $60 a barrel.

The IEA said global crude demand would pick up this year, which was "reassuring" to investors, said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

However, the IEA also noted rising supply, limiting crude gains. The IEA believes non-OPEC supply, led by the United States, will grow by 1.8 million bpd this year, while demand will grow by about 1.5 million bpd.

The relentless climb in U.S. crude output <C-OUT-T-EIA> has loomed over markets, as production hit another record last week at 10.38 million bpd.

OPEC on Wednesday raised its forecast for non-member oil supply this year to almost double the growth predicted four months ago.

OPEC and other producers led by Russia began cutting supply in January 2017 to erase a global crude glut that had built up since 2014. This has been somewhat offset by surging U.S. crude production.

Prices bounced around after the United States announced new sanctions against Russian individuals and groups, including Moscow's intelligence services and a Russian propaganda organization.

"The rising tensions between the West and Russia raise the potential for reduced trade flows and economic activity, which would diminish energy demand growth," said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in New York.

Prices were supported in the morning by a pickup on Wall Street, but U.S. stocks retreated throughout the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was still up about 0.5 percent, but the S&P 500 edged lower.

Recently, crude futures have moved in sync with equities.

(Additional reporting by Amanda Cooper in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio and Susan Thomas)

By Stephanie Kelly

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.54% 25162.41 Delayed Quote.1.90%
NASDAQ 100 -1.24% 7354.6613 Delayed Quote.16.43%
NASDAQ COMP. -1.23% 7774.1179 Delayed Quote.14.01%
S&P 500 -0.76% 2818.37 Real-time Quote.5.97%
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