-- Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Wednesday tracking optimism over cooling U.S. inflation and some positive Chinese data, with focus now turning to signs of a potential build in U.S. crude inventories.
was due later on Wednesday, coming after two weeks of delays. Industry data released prior to the reading pointed to a weekly build in inventories.
A sharp drop in the was a key source of support for oil markets this week, after data on Tuesday showed that eased further in October. The reading ramped up hopes that the Federal Reserve will have little impetus to raise interest rates further.
Optimistic demand forecasts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency also spurred some gains in crude, as both agencies forecast the U.S. and Chinese oil demand will remain strong in the coming year.
Positive economic readings from China added to this notion, as data on Wednesday showed that industrial production and retail sales grew more than expected in October.
rose 0.3% to $82.61 a barrel, while rose 0.2% to $78.36 a barrel by 21:22 ET (02:44 GMT).
But signs of worsening economic conditions in the rest of the globe kept oil gains limited. Data released this week showed that Japan's in the third quarter, while the euro zone in the same period.
The Israel-Hamas conflict continued to be a point of focus for crude markets, as Israeli forces kept up an offensive in Gaza. But markets were steadily pricing in a lower risk premium on oil prices from the conflict, given that it had failed to meaningfully disrupt Middle Eastern supplies.
US inventories seen rising after bumper weekly build- API data
Data from the (API) showed on late-Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories likely rose 1.3 million barrels in the week to Nov 10.
The rise is the third straight weekly build in U.S. stockpiles, and also comes after a bumper, nearly 12 million barrel build over the prior week, as U.S. fuel demand cooled with the advent of the winter season.
The API data heralds a similar reading from official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration, which is due later in the day, and is expected to show a small draw over the past week.
The EIA data comes after no official releases on U.S. inventories over the past two weeks, as the government agency ran some maintenance on its systems.
Beyond the inventory data, more U.S. economic cues were also on tap, with readings on and due later in the day.
Asian stocks surge on US inflation relief, China stimulus moves By