Crude Build Puts Oil Prices Modestly Higher

Oil prices reversed early losses to move higher on Wednesday, despite a larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories and weak euro zone economic figures.

At last check, Brent crude had gained 13 cents, or 0.2%, to trade at $63.09 U.S. a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 32 cents to trade at $57.55 U.S. per barrel.

Data released mid-morning Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 7.9 million barrels from the previous week, or, higher than the 1.5 million barrels analysts had been expecting.

The U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, are working to narrow their differences enough to sign a “phase-one” trade deal as early as this month to resolve a trade war that has slowed global growth.

Adding to Middle East tensions, Iran started to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at an underground nuclear facility, further distancing itself from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed its atomic work.