Bearish IEA Demand Outlook Could Pressure Prices

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Elsewhere, for December delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was down 22 cents or about 0.39% at $56.72 a barrel.

Oil has strengthened in recent weeks due to a sharp drawdown in distillates feeding expectations for renewed demand, but it is unclear whether US crude prices will regain the high of almost $53 a barrel reached in late September.

Separately, U.S. President Donald Trump was expected Thursday to announce a de-certification of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, putting its future into question.

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Crude oil inventories fell 2.7 million barrels in the October 6 week to 462.2 million, 2.5 percent below the level a year ago, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report Thursday. Analysts in a Wall Street Journal survey had projected a 1.7 million-barrel decline.

In its monthly report released on Wednesday, OPEC indicated that market rebalancing will continue amid forecasts that global oil demand will rise by around 30,000 barrels a day for this year and 2018.

This supports what I have been saying all along that prices are likely to remain rangebound until OPEC and other major producers vote to extend the production cuts beyond the May 2018 deadline and also decide to deepen those production cuts.

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"There is little doubt that leading producers have re-committed to do whatever it takes to underpin the market", the IEA said in a report on Thursday.

The entity said the world would need 33.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of its crude next year, 230 thousand barrels morer than its previous forecast.

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Michel Barnier said that despite the "constructive spirit" shown in this week's fifth round of talks, "we haven't made any great steps forward".

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