After falling 3% the previous session on concerns about demand stagnating due to potential further lockdowns in China, the world's largest oil importer, as COVID-19 cases rebounded, oil prices were largely flat in early trade on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures had increased by 2 cents to $95.38 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had decreased by 4 cents to $88.87 per barrel.
According to news reports, market sentiment is still divided between concerns about how a recession will affect demand and supply remaining constrained as a European ban on Russian crude oil looms and OPEC+ members curb production.
Gains on Wednesday were restrained by data from the industry showing a larger-than-anticipated growth in U.S. crude stockpiles.
According to market sources quoting American Petroleum Institute data for the week ending Nov. 4, U.S. crude oil stockpiles increased by around 5.6 million barrels.
The market had seized on optimism that China would be reducing COVID limitations last week, but health officials announced over the weekend that they will continue to take a "dynamic-clearing" approach to new cases.
According to API statistics, gasoline stockpiles increased by nearly 2.6 million barrels, compared to experts' expectations for a 1.1 million-barrel decline.
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The US Federal committee's meeting will conclude on March 16, 2022.
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