Oil Slips In Choppy Trade

Oil prices held steady on Wednesday amid skepticism about the effectiveness of a U.S.-led release of oil from strategic reserves.

Benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.2 percent to $82.11 a barrel, while WTI crude futures were down 0.1 percent at $78.39.

Oil prices rebounded from earlier losses to end sharply higher at a one-week high on Tuesday after major oil-consuming economies announced a smaller-than-expected release from their strategic petroleum reserves.

The United States said it would release 50 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which will start hitting the market in mid to late December.

The decision came after OPEC+ producers repeatedly ignored calls for more crude output.

India has decided to release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its SPR, which is equivalent to a day of oil consumption by the country.

Tokyo plans to release oil reserves that exceed its target of storage in value of 160 days of consumption.

China will release crude oil from state reserves according to its own actual needs, a foreign ministry spokesman said today, adding that the country was in close communication with oil-producing and oil-consuming countries to ensure the long-term stability of the oil market.

Traders look ahead to the weekly oil report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration after American Petroleum Institute figures reportedly showed a build of 2.31M barrels of oil for the week ending November 19.

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