Oil prices edged up early on Wednesday after U.S. crude stocks were estimated to have dropped last week, stripping some supplies out of an oversupplied market that has seen prices more than halve since June 2014.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude stockpiles fell 3.7 million barrels last week, with stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude futures alone down almost 500,000 barrels.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $46.56 per barrel at 0051 GMT, up 20 cents from their last settlement. Globally traded Brent futures were at $49.19 per barrel, up 11 cents.
But traders said some downward pressure was likely to build during Asian trading.
“Oil, like other commodities, is in the middle of a glut. Most say there are more than 2.5 million barrels in the market every day that nobody needs,” one crude trader said.
Pressure could also build from other commodities, which have tumbled on the back of China’s economic slowdown.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed down 3.6 percent at $5,080 a tonne, its biggest one-day loss since July 7, while key thermal coal futures closed at $50 a tonne, its lowest since 2003.