Oil prices on Wednesday, March 8, dipped in Asian trade after industry data pointed to a potential ninth straight week of inventory builds.
As of 0740 GMT, brent futures were down 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $55.69, after settling down 0.2 percent in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $52.85 a barrel, after ending the previous session down 0.1 percent.
“Oil is range-bound. If prices dip below $50 a barrel, OPEC will cut more; if it goes above $55 the U.S. will produce more,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney.
U.S. crude stocks rose by 11.6 million barrels last week, more than five times analysts’ estimates, according to industry group, the American Petroleum Institute.
If the figures are confirmed later on Wednesday by official data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) it would be the ninth straight week of inventory builds.
Oil prices are facing headwinds from a likely U.S. Fed interest rate hike next week, a strong dollar, increasing inventory builds to record levels and rising U.S. shale oil production, he said, Reuters reports.
The API stocks data came as the EIA on Tuesday cut its 2017 world oil demand growth forecast by 110,000 barrels per day to 1.51 million bpd.