Oil Holds Range Amid Thanksgiving Holiday
Brent and U.S. crude oil futures traded nearly flat on Thursday on light trading due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
U.S. crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures flirted in both negative and positive territory in morning trade, slipping 2 cents, or 0.05 percent, to $43.02 a barrel as of 0133 GMT. They finished the previous session up 17 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $43.04 a barrel.
Brent edged down 8 cents, or 0.17 percent, to $46.09 a barrel. It settled up 5 cents, or 0.11 percent, at $46.17 a barrel the day before, after falling more than $1 to a session low $45.03.
U.S. crude edged higher earlier in the day, supported by a smaller-than-expected build in U.S. inventories. Stocks rose 1 million barrels in the week to Nov. 20, the ninth consecutive week, compared with analyst expectations for a 1.2 million barrel rise, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [EIA/S]
Analysts say U.S. crude was also boosted by a fall in oil rigs, a sign that drillers were waiting for higher prices before returning to the well pad. Drilled cut rigs for the 12th week in the last 13, data from services company Baker Hughes (N:BHI) showed.
Asian stocks advanced in early trade on Thursday as the euro remained under pressure on growing bets that the European Central Bank would deliver further stimulus steps. U.S. markets will be closed Thursday and most of Friday afternoon.