Oil prices flat at Thanksgiving

*Offshore drilling.

*Offshore drilling.

26 November 2015 – Brent and US crude oil futures traded nearly flat on Thursday on light trading due to the US Thanksgiving holiday.

US crude’s West Texas Intermediate futures flirted in both negative and positive territory in morning trade, slipping 2 cents, or 0.05%, to $43.02 a barrel early on Thursday. They finished the previous session up 17 cents, or 0.4%, at $43.04 a barrel, Reuters said.

Brent edged down 8 cents, or 0.17%, to $46.09 a barrel. It settled up 5 cents, or 0.11%, at $46.17 a barrel the day before, after falling more than $1 to a session low $45.03.

US crude edged higher earlier in the day, supported by a smaller-than-expected build in US inventories. Stocks rose 1 million barrels in the week to 20 November, the ninth consecutive week, compared with analyst expectations for a 1.2 million barrel rise, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Analysts say US crude was also boosted by a fall in oil rigs, a sign that drillers were waiting for higher prices before returning to the well pad. Drillers cut rigs for the 12th week in the last 13, data from services company Baker Hughes showed.

Asian stocks advanced in early trade on Thursday as the euro remained under pressure on growing bets that the European Central Bank would deliver further stimulus steps. US markets will be closed Thursday and most of Friday afternoon.

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