* Traders take profit after strong price rise the previous
* Overall outlook is for slightly higher prices -analysts
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, Oct 6 Oil prices dipped on Thursday
but remained near June highs reached the previous session when
they were buoyed by a fall in U.S. crude inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures
were trading at $49.63 per barrel at 0051 GMT, down 20 cents
from their last settlement.
International Brent crude futures were down 24 cents
at $51.62 per barrel.
Traders said the price dips early on Thursday were largely a
result of profit-taking following strong price rises the day
Both contracts hit their highest levels since June on
Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
said crude stockpiles fell 3 million barrels last week to 499.74
million barrels, and as international oil markets prepared for a
planned output cut by the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC).
"Another week another surprise drawdown in crude inventories
by the EIA ... Although crude in storage remains at record
highs, this is the third week of unexpected drawdowns in a row,"
said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA in
He added that WTI prices would likely be "eyeing the
psychological $50" soon, although there was the downside risk of
shale drillers putting rigs back into operation which were
mothballed at lower prices.
Other analysts said that overall market conditions pointed
to slightly higher prices, largely due to the planned OPEC cut,
but also due to the risk of forced disruptions.
"All in all, oil prices seem headed for higher levels in the
coming period," Global Risk Management said in its quarterly
report published this week. It pointed to the risk of "several
oil producing countries struggling to increase or even keep
production at current levels due to unrest/oil facility
wreckages and lack of industry investments".
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)