Crude Mixed, Follows Stocks as Euro Zone Troubles Weigh
Brent crude oil prices reversed course on Wednesday and rose on the back of a rally in U.S. equity markets despite an increase in U.S. refined products inventories and data showing the euro zone was in its longest recession ever.
U.S. equity markets began a rally shortly before 10 a.m. EDT, led by shares of technology stocks.
Oil markets traced their rise beginning around 11 a.m. EDT after falling to intraday lows on the back of the bearish refined-products data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
"The oil market is rebounding pretty strongly since the equity market is strong. We dropped low after the EIA data but the market didn't attract a lot of fresh selling," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
U.S. crude inventories fell last week, but gasoline and distillate stocks rose along with refinery rates, the EIA data showed. Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, crude storage hub rose 575,000 barrels to 49.72 million barrels.
After shedding more than $2 intra-day, Brent crude traded up around 35 cents to trade near $103 a barrel U.S. light, sweet crude fell by nearly 35 cents, paring most of the day's losses but still lower on the day near $94, declining for a fifth straight day.
Brent crude is down more than 13 percent from its 2013 peak on weaker demand in China and a sluggish recovery in the U.S. economy, the world's two biggest oil consumers.
The euro zone's economy contracted for the sixth straight quarter at the start of the year, marking its longest recession since records began in 1995.