USA crude rises, settles at $61.68, breaks 2-week losing streak

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An American Petroleum Institute report, said to show a 907,000-barrel decline, wasn't enough to dispel the concerns. Last week, federal data show the cumulative average for crude oil production to February 9 was 11 percent higher than the same period past year.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.12 a barrel at 0102 GMT, down 56 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last settlement.

Inventories usually rise at this time of year, as many refineries cut crude intake to conduct maintenance, but a bottleneck in Canada's pipeline system has reduced USA imports and pushed US stocks lower.

Global benchmark Brent crude rose 37 cents, to $64.70/Bbl by 2:03 p.m. ET, on track for a roughly 3% weekly gain after falling more than 8% two weeks ago, Kallanish Energy reports.

Oil has struggled to regain January's highs as faltering confidence in the outlook for economic growth and a strengthening dollar reduce the appeal of commodities. The prices dropped on a rebound in the United States dollar from three-year lows after the Federal Reserve stated in its latest meeting minutes that it is on track to raise interest rates gradually over the course of the year.

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US crude inventories USOILC=ECI unexpectedly fell 1.6 million barrels last week as net imports dropped to a record low and exports surged, while inventories declined further at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). "The market's been concerned about USA production ramping, so as long as you still have these healthy inventory reports, it helps ease some of the fears".

NY futures fell as much as 1.5% after closing lower on Wednesday for the first time in about a week.

The correlation between moves in the oil price and the dollar has strengthened in recent weeks, as investors increasingly sell other assets to buy the USA currency on expectations of a faster pace of rate rises.

The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly inventory report today, a day later than usual due to the US President's Day holiday earlier this week. Analysts had expected a small build of 1.333 million barrels in crude oil inventories, instead. April Brent Crude Oil is at $64.88, down $0.54 or -0.83%. Declining storage in Cushing boosted prices, and "we will continue to see that as crude is directed to the Gulf Coast" for export, he said.

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