August 17, 2022: Oil prices quelled losses on Wednesday over a more-than-expected decline in US crude oil stockpiles, while gloomy economic data from China, the world's largest oil consumer, continues to provoke concerns of a global economic downturn.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $92.92 per barrel at 09.58 a.m. local time (0658 GMT) for a 0.63% decrease from the closing price of $92.34 a barrel in the previous trading session.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $87.19 per barrel at the same time for a 0.76% gain after the previous session closed at $86.53 a barrel.
Demand recovery hopes were the main driver of the upward price movements.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) predicted a drop in US crude oil stockpiles late Tuesday of 448,000 barrels, compared to the market expectation of a fall of 117,000 barrels.
A significant drop in inventories indicates an increase in crude demand in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer, assuaging market concerns over dwindling demand.
Investors are now looking to crude oil supply data from the US Energy Information Administration due later in the day.
Oil markets are also keeping tabs on the ongoing indirect talks in Vienna between Iran and the US, mediated by the EU, to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal. A draft of the agreement has been negotiated through talks that started earlier this month.
Iran on Tuesday submitted its response to the European Union's text, while the EU said it is currently studying the response of Tehran to the latest proposal on reviving the nuclear deal.
The US said later that an agreement was reached on many of the most pressing details to get Washington and Iran to return to compliance with the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement.