December 17, 2015 / 1:10 AM / 2 years ago

Crude rises after U.S. fed rate hike, gains limited

TOKYO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Crude futures rose in Asian trade on Thursday recouping some of the losses from the previous session, when they fell sharply after the Federal Reserve raised rates and official figures showed a surprise build in U.S. inventories.

West Texas Intermediate for January delivery, the front-month contract, rose 17 cents to $35.69 a barrel by 0100 GMT after finishing settled down nearly 5 percent on Wednesday.

Brent crude for February delivery, the front-month contract from Thursday was up 17 cents at $37.56. The global benchmark fell $1.34 to $37.39 the previous session.

U.S. crude stocks increased last week as imports into the Gulf Coast rose, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday, surprising analysts who expected inventories to decline.

The EIA data showed crude inventories rose 4.8 million barrels last week to near record highs, while analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a drop of 1.4 million barrels.

Adding to the overall bearish global picture, OPEC producers see scant chance of a significant rise oil prices in 2016 as extra Iranian production could add to the ongoing glut and the prospect of voluntary output restraint remains remote.

The U.S. Fed hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade on Wednesday, a sign it believes that the U.S. economy had largely overcome the calamity that was the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Higher U.S. rates typically support the dollar, making oil and other commodities denominated in the greenback more expensive, undermining demand. (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Michael Perry)

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