Oil steady after Trump falsely claims victory in tight U.S. election

Oil steady after Trump falsely claims victory in tight U.S. election

US West Texas Intermediate ended US$1.02, or 2.9 per cent, higher at US$36.81 a barrel.

Futures in NY added 0.6%, after rising 2.9% on Monday - the biggest gain in more than three weeks.

A tighter race in the lead up to the United States election on Tuesday and electoral uncertainty also prompted investor caution in global markets.

The worldwide oil benchmark, Brent crude, gained almost two per cent on Monday, shaking off earlier losses, as the United States heads into a contentious presidential election.

Commenting on the market reaction to the US Energy Information Administration's latest Petroleum Status Report, "traders very much chose to focus on unrelated positives such as OPEC+ signals pointing to a no return of shuttered production in early-2021 and the results of the US elections", said TD Securities analysts.

More lockdowns could put a cap on oil price gains as Italy, Norway and Hungary tightened coronavirus curbs, following Britain, France and other countries.

Prices has found support earlier from a sharp fall in US crude oil stockpiles last week while gasoline inventories rose, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday. China, meanwhile, remains the bright spot for global demand, with authorities raising the quota for use of overseas oil by non-state entities next year by more than 20%. The new measures are expected to last for at least a month.

Supporting prices, OPEC member Algeria backed deferring a planned increase in OPEC+ oil output from January and Russia's energy minister raised the prospect with the country's oil producers.

A victory by Trump is viewed as bullish for oil because of sanctions on Iran and his support for Saudi-led OPEC oil cuts to support prices.

Futures had earlier come under pressure from the double whammy of rising Libyan supply and a dwindling demand outlook as England joined the string of European countries to renew lockdowns.

Still, concerns about weakening demand and rising supplies from OPEC and the United States caused oil prices to fall for a second straight month in October, with WTI falling 11% and Brent 8.5%. This Opec+ group is scheduled to hold a policy meeting on Nov 30 and Dec 1, with some analysts expecting a postponement of plans to ramp up output by 2 million bpd from January.

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