UPDATE: Oil holds tight trading range as traders weigh supply prospects
By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch , Sarah McFarlane
Brent crude prices edge higher; U.S. supply data on tap
Oil prices stuck to a tight trading range Tuesday, as traders weighed prospects for global supplies on the back of a rise in OPEC production last month and ahead of data that are expected to show a second-straight weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, November West Texas Intermediate crude was at $50.58 a barrel, down a penny. After settling Monday at the lowest level in more than week, it's holding ground between a low of $50.22 and a high of $50.73. December Brent crude on the ICE Futures Exchange rose 15 cents, or 0.3%, to $56.27 a barrel.
"While the oil market stalled on the first day of the quarter, the global rebalancing of the oil market is still under way," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.
The market should see "more evidence of that," he said, in the American Petroleum Institute supply report due out late Tuesday as well as the Energy Information Administration's data due Wednesday, following the surprise drop in U.S. crude-oil supply reported last week.
Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a decline of 1.5 million in crude stocks for the week ended Sept. 29. The analysts also expect to see a climb of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline stocks and a fall of 2.4 million barrels for distillates.
"Libya oil output was at a five-month low as their biggest oil field was shut down and the market is going to react when they hear that the field may come back on line," said Flynn, in a daily note.