Oil steadied ahead of the release of weekly inventory data from the U.S. that may show another rise in nationwide crude inventories.

Brent was little changed near US$85 a barrel after a low-volume session due to a U.S. holiday, while West Texas Intermediate was above $81. The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release the snapshot later Thursday — one day after it’s usually scheduled. An industry report published earlier this week signaled a gain.

Oil prices have tracked other assets of late, including equities, but there have also been near-term signs of a stronger market in the futures curve. Crude’s recent advance has helped push implied volatility for Brent to a six-year low.

Brent remains on course for a monthly gain after OPEC+ extended supply cuts and said that any subsequent plan to return barrels would hinge on market conditions. Traders are also tracking the demand outlook, with refineries in Asia bringing back some capacity after maintenance despite poor margins.

“Today we are waiting for the inventory data,” said Arne Lohmann Rasmussen, Head of Research at A/S Global Risk Management. “After the API data the market is prepared for a build so I guess there is room for a positive surprise here.”


  • Brent for August settlement rose 0.1% to $85.13 a barrel at 10:16 a.m. in London
  • WTI for July delivery — which expires Thursday — was at $81.42