Oil retraces early gains; stockpile worry, dollar weigh

Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:23pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil gave back most of its gains to trade flat on Thursday as worries about high U.S. crude inventories offset early support from a gasoline rally and technical charts calling for higher prices.

A two-week high in the dollar also weighed on crude despite a surge in share prices on Wall Street, which is normally supportive to oil.

Brent was down one penny at $47.84 a barrel by 1:42 p.m. EDT (1742 GMT). The global crude benchmark finished down 86 cents, or 1.8 percent, on Wednesday, hitting an October low of $47.50.

U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil slipped 10 cents to $45.10. It settled down $1.09, or 2.4 percent, in the previous session, falling to a three-week low of $44.86.

Gasoline rose as much as 3 percent in early trade, pulling crude prices along, after Wednesday's U.S. government data showed a 1.5 million-barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles last week, compared with a 858,000-barrel drop forecast in a Reuters poll.

Analysts had also cited technical support for Wednesday's early gains, as Brent held above $46.

Oil eventually relinquished its gains as focus returned to last week's big build in crude stockpiles - 8 million barrels - which was more than double that forecast by analysts in the Reuters poll.

The fourth weekly build in crude inventories came despite a pick-up in oil processing works during the autumn maintenance season for U.S. refineries.   Continued...

An employee holds a gas pump to refill a car at a petrol station in central Seoul April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won