US crude oil prices pushed higher in early Asian trading on Wednesday, partly recovering from a 6 percent drop in the previous session led by concerns over demand and weak equities.
* U.S. crude for March delivery was 47 cents higher at $28.41 a barrel by 0113 GMT. The contract fell for a fourth-straight session on Tuesday to settle $1.75 lower.
* The front-month Brent contract was 50 cents higher at $30.82 a barrel, after it had closed $2.56, or 7.8 percent, down on Tuesday.
* The American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, reported a build of 2.4 million barrels in U.S. crude stockpiles for last week.
* That was lower than the 3.6 million-barrel build predicted by analysts surveyed by Reuters. The EIA issues official stockpile numbers on Wednesday.
* The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) lowered its 2016 oil demand growth forecast to 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a growth of 160,000 bpd previously.
* Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted the world will store unwanted oil for most of 2016 as declines in U.S. output take time and that OPEC is unlikely to cut a deal with other producers to reduce ballooning output.
* Seeking additional protection against wild swings in prices, oil traders have scrambled to scoop up options, sending a key index to its highest level since the worst of the global economic crisis in 2008, data showed.
* Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Tuesday that Tehran is ready to negotiate with Saudi Arabia over the current conditions in the global oil markets, Iran’s Press TV reported.
* Asian stocks dipped early on Wednesday amid smouldering banking sector concerns, while the safe-haven yen stood atop large gains made overnight.
* MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.2 percent. Australian stocks fell 1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.6 percent after sinking 5.4 percent on Tuesday.