Oil prices stabilize as US stocks fall


Oil prices held steady on Thursday to maintain gains from the previous session as a drop in US crude stocks prompted the market to rise, while analysts provided mixed expectations for supply ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting next week.

Crude oil prices remain below $ 50 a barrel on concerns of rising output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), despite a pledge to cut output with some non-member producers.

At 0613 GMT, Brent crude futures were $ 49.67 a barrel, down just three cents from the previous settlement.

US crude futures in West Texas Intermediate dropped two years from the previous close to $ 47.09 a barrel.

Crude prices jumped more than 1.5 percent in the previous session on a report showing US crude and fuel stocks fell last week.

According to data from the US Energy Information Administration, US crude inventories fell 4.7 million barrels over the week ending July 14, while analysts forecast a 3.2 million barrel decline.

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