Prices of crude oil are slightly higher in Asia trade because of a weaker dollar on Thursday.
Investors are awaiting data on US oil stockpiles to be released later in the day by the Energy Information Administration, which may show an increase because of a seasonal slowdown and weaken prices.
‘Market watchers are expecting higher oil inventories,’ said Barnabas Chen, energy analyst at OCBC Bank.
There is also speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may raise a cap on production by around one million barrels when they meet on Dec. 4, he said, which may aid the bearish sentiment on crude oil caused by a supply overhang.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at $43.20 a barrel at 0418 GMT, up 27 cents in the Globex electronic session. December Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 24 cents to $46.10 a barrel.
Oil prices are likely to be volatile in the near term leading up to the OPEC meeting next month as representatives of member nations of OPEC may make different statements, said Virendra Chauhan, energy analyst at Singapore-based Energy Aspect.
An increase in OPEC’s production quota could materialize as Indonesia is slated to rejoin the organization during the December meeting, said Chauhan, underscoring that the country alone produces around 800,000 barrels per day.
He also pointed out that supplies from Iran are expected to resume in coming months, but added that Western sanctions on the country are unlikely to be lifted before the second half of next year.