* U.S. crude up in post-settlement trade; Brent off session lows
* Brent, U.S. crude still down about 7 pct so far on the week
* U.S. crude stockpiles rose 7.6 mln bbls last week -EIA
* Analysts in Reuters poll expected build just below 3 mln bbls (New throughout, adds gains for U.S. crude in post-settlement trade)
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Thursday after the U.S. government reported a larger-than-expected crude stockpile build, leaving prices lower for a fourth straight day.
Oil settled off the day’s lows after tracking a rally in share prices on Wall Street. U.S. crude continued its recovery in post-settlement trade, turning positive.
A bigger-than-expected drawdown in gasoline supplies had also limited the downside for crude, some analysts said.
“We were trading according to supply-demand fundamentals. But toward the close, it was the risk-on, macro trade, with money flowing into riskier assets such as stocks and commodities,” said Chris Jarvis, analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Frederick, Maryland.
U.S. crude’s front-month contract, November, settled down 26 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $46.38 a barrel. At the session low it was down $1.41, or 2 percent. By 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT), it was 36 cents higher in post-settlement trade.
Brent’s front-month, November, finished down 44 cents at $48.71 before expiring and going off the board. December Brent, which will be the spot contract from Friday, settled up 4 cents at $49.73.
So far this week, prices of U.S. crude and global oil benchmark Brent are down about 7 percent. The slide began Monday on worries about record OPEC production.
Oil prices hit the day’s lows after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. crude inventories rose by 7.6 million barrels for the week ended Oct 9.
The build was more than double the build of 2.9 million barrels expected by analysts in a Reuters poll, although lower than the 9.3 million barrels indicated by industry group American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday.
The crude build comes amid lower processing of oil in the United States as refiners shut for maintenance after the peak summer driving season.
Relentless OPEC supply and worries about creeping U.S. stockpiles have weighed on crude prices again this week, after a sharp market rebound in the first week of October.
Despite the renewed bearish sentiment, some analysts think prices may still rise in the near-to-medium term due to lagging U.S. shale crude output.
“There are increasing signs that non-OPEC supply is already decreasing noticeably as a consequence of the low prices,” said Carsten Fritsch at Commerzbank.
Some traders disagree.
“The low refinery runs will continue to allow crude oil inventories to rise significantly over the next several weeks, resulting in further downward price pressure,” said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital. (Additional reporting by Simon Falush in London and Meeyoung Cho in Seoul and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio)