* Fuel inventories around the world remain high
* But expectation of extended output cuts supports market
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, April 27 Oil prices dipped on
Thursday, weighed down by a general sentiment of globally
bloated markets, though traders said that prices seemed to have
found support around current levels.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures
were trading at $49.34 per barrel at 0137 GMT, down 28 cents, or
0.56 percent from their last close. WTI has lost around 8.5
percent in value from its April peak.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for
oil prices, were at $51.58 per barrel, down 24 cents, or 0.46
percent, from their last close. Brent is almost 9 percent below
its April peak.
Traders said that the falls in recent weeks were a result of
a realisation that global oil markets remained oversupplied,
despite efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to cut output by 1.8
million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year
in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.
"It is clear that the world has plenty of oil in stock,
making OPEC's life that much harder ahead of its June production
cut rollover date," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst
at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
While the United States reported a drop in its commercial
crude oil stocks on Wednesday, albeit from near-record highs,
its gasoline inventories surged as refiners produced more fuel
than the market could consume.
Still, with an expectation that OPEC would lobby for an
extension of the production cuts to cover all of 2017, analysts
said there was support for prices around current levels.
Reuters technical commodities analyst Wang Tao said that
"Brent oil looks neutral in a range of $51.30-$52.32 per
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)