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Futures Movers: Oil lower on fears of U.S. crude inventory rise

Oil futures fell Thursday, pressured after an industry trade group reported a large jump in U.S. inventories ahead of more closely watched government data.

West Texas Intermediate crude CLX19, -0.60% for November delivery declined 39 cents, or 0.7%, to $52.97 a barrel, while December Brent BRNZ19, -0.61% was off 38 cents, or 0.6%, at $59.04 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday said U.S. crude supplies rose by 10.5 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11, according to sources. The Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report later Thursday. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA data to show a rise of 4 million barrels.

“The market will be watching the EIA numbers closely today to see if they confirm a similar build” to the API figures, said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING, in a note. “If that is indeed the case, it would be the largest build since February 2017. Refinery turnarounds are likely to have weighed on refinery run rates while the stronger freight market may have also weighed on crude exports.”

API also saw gasoline stockpiles fall 934,000 barrels, wile distillates were down 2.9 million barrels, sources said. Analysts look for the EIA data to show gasoline supplies to fall by nearly 1.8 million barrels, while distillates are seen down 2.6 million barrels.

Crude oil prices trimmed losses after U.K. and European Union leaders announced a tentative Brexit deal, though the pact must be approved by the British parliament and other EU member states. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a tough task in winning approval.

The unexpected announcement provided a lift for assets perceived as risky, including European equities and U.S. stock-index futures.

November natural-gas futures NGX19, +1.65% rose 1.4% to $2.336 per million British thermal units. The EIA on Thursday is also expected to report a weekly rise of 108 billion cubic feet in U.S. natural-gas stocks in storage, according to the S&P Global Platts survey.

November gasoline RBX19, -1.44% fell 1.3% to $1.6033 a gallon, while December heating HOZ19, -0.92% as off 0.9% at $1.9124 a gallon.