By Modupe Gbadeyanka
For the second day in a row, prices of crude oil slumped on Wednesday with rising US oil output adding pressure on the market, although OPEC production cuts continued to offer support.
Investors in the oil market are awaiting weekly inventories data from the US Energy Information Administration due at 1530 GMT on Wednesday.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $53.86 a barrel by 0723 GMT, and Brent crude gave up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $56.38.
“Signs that the U.S. shale industry is recovering weighed on the market,” ANZ said in a report.
US crude stockpiles have risen for seven straight weeks. Forecasts for another build last week, this time of 3.1 million barrels, have fuelled worries that demand growth may not be sufficient to soak up the global crude oil glut.
The stockpiles rose 2.5 million barrels in the week ended February 24, according to a report from trade group the American Petroleum Institute.
Gasoline stockpiles rose unexpectedly and distillate stockpiles fell more than expected, the API said. Crude declined slightly on the report.
The market rose earlier in the session as a speech by US President, Mr Donald Trump offered little on plans by his administration to boost U.S. oil production.
Market participants had been expecting President Trump to include details on energy policy in a speech to the US Congress but his remarks lacked any specifics.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has cut its oil output for a second month in February, a survey showed that OPEC has boosted already strong compliance with its supply curbs on the back of a steep reduction by Saudi Arabia.
Brent oil looks neutral in a range of $55.93 to $57.26 per barrel, and an escape could suggest a direction, said Wang Tao, a market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.
US oil may edge up to a resistance at $54.28 per barrel, a break above which could lead to a further gain to $54.62.
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