US crude oil prices have shown signs of hardening this week on strong fuel demand but upward price movement is facing resistance from global oversupply.
For the first time since late May, US crude opened above $50 per barrel on Monday, supported by strong fuel demand, but ongoing high supplies from OPEC producers prevented prices from rising further.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $50.25 per barrel at 0127 GMT, up 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $52.78 per barrel.
Overall US commercial crude oil stocks have fallen by 10 per cent from their late-March peaks to 483.4 million barrels, and when seasonally adjusted, below 2016 levels.
Crude oil prices face multiple headwinds as OPEC struggles, analysts said.
OPEC output has risen this month by 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 2017-high of 33 million bpd, led by a further recovery in supply from Libya, one of the countries exempt from a production-cutting deal, defeating the pledge by cartel and other producers to cut output by 1.8 million bpd between January this year and March 2018.
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