Oil rises from 5-wk low caused by surprise stock build up in US

Oil rises from 5-wk low caused by surprise stock build up in US
The crude oil prices recovered on Thursday following heavy losses the day before on news US stockpiles rose unexpectedly. Traders are concerned the glut in the oil market is growing again.

Brent crude rose 31 cents to $48.37 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate increased the same to $46.03 per barrel.

Both Brent and US crude are about 10 percent below their open on May 25, when OPEC, Russia, and other producers agreed to extend oil output cuts to the first quarter of 2018.

US stockpiles grew by 3.3 million barrels in the week ending June 2, while the market had expected a 3.5 million barrels decline, the Energy Information Administration said. This is the first rise in 10 weeks.

Gasoline inventories also unexpectedly surged, imports increased, and exports dropped, the EIA data said.

"We are at this stage holding the line nervously near the low levels" of Wednesday's session, said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney, as quoted by Reuters.

"The situation is complicated by the fact that we have got all these major political-economic watch events on the horizon," he added. The analyst was referring to former FBI Director James Comey's appearance before Congress, the European Central Bank's policy meeting and the UK general election, all later on Thursday.

None of those events "are directly related to oil but all of them could have an impact on the dollar and risk attitudes generally," Le Brun said.