Oil prices were mixed on Wednesday as a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks and weaker U.S. retail sales stoked fears over fuel demand, although hopes that OPEC and its allies will delay a planned rise in oil output lent support.
Brent crude futures for January LCOc1 rose 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $43.78 a barrel by 0430 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for December CLc1 eased 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.40 a barrel, as reported by Reuters.
Read alsoReuters: Oil prices edge up as market eyes OPEC+ meeting, vaccine hopesThe American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday that U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 4.2 million barrels last week, well above analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a build of 1.7 million barrels.
Disappointing U.S. retail sales also raised concerns over weaker U.S. consumption in light of the COVID-19 resurgence, he said.
U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in October, restrained by spiraling new COVID-19 infections and declining household income as millions of unemployed Americans lose government financial support.
OPEC+ held a ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday that made no formal recommendation. The group will hold a full ministerial meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to discuss policy.