ALSO READOil pressured by high U.S. crude exports; drop in crude stocks prevent bigger fall Oil extends gains on Saudi commitment to cut, weak dollar Oil extends gains on Saudi commitment to cutting output, weak dollar Oil prices firm, but trade dispute and Syria keep market on edge Oil slips away from 2014 highs, though overall 2018 outlook remains firm
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, adding to steep gains in the previous session, as markets eyed an escalation of Middle East tensions after Europe's air traffic control agency warned of possible air strikes on Syria in the next 72 hours.
Brent crude futures
U.S. WTI crude futures
Pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles could be used within the next 72 hours, warning that there was a possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment.
Oil markets were also supported by easing concerns over a prolonged trade spat between the United States and China after China's President Xi Jinping on Tuesday gave a speech with a conciliatory tone.
"The relaxation of tensions between the U.S. and China (is) allowing oil traders to exercise their worries over geopolitics," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.
Not all oil market indicators pointed to ongoing price rises, however.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week to April 6 to 429.1 million, according to a report by the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 189,000 barrels.
And the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that it expects domestic crude oil production in 2019 to rise by more than previously expected, driven largely by growing U.S. shale output.
In its monthly short-term energy outlook, the agency forecast that U.S. crude oil output will rise by 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.44 million bpd next year. Last month, it expected a 570,000 bpd year-over-year increase to 11.27 million bpd.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by Richard Pullin)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)