Oil prices rally before US inventory data

LONDON (AFP) – Oil prices rose sharply for a second day running on Wednesday, reaching five-month highs awaiting the release of key US energy stockpiles data.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $45.13 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude struck $47.05 in trading on Wednesday — the highest points since early November.

Shailaja Nair, associate editorial director at global energy information provider Platts, told AFP she “would still be cautious against the sustainability of this rise because the world is still awash with oil”.

WTI and Brent had already rallied Tuesday on speculation that Saudi Arabia plans to reduce drilling, fuelling hopes of an easing of the global supply glut.

A weaker dollar has also helped to improve demand for dollar-denominated crude.

All eyes Wednesday were set to be on the latest weekly report on energy inventory levels in the United States, the world s biggest consumer of oil.

Around 1115 GMT, WTI for delivery in June was up 93 cents at $44.97 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for June jumped 98 cents to $46.72 a barrel compared with Tuesday s close.