Oil prices rebounded slightly this morning – but it wasn't enough to prevent them from heading for their biggest weekly drop since January.
Brent crude futures ended yesterday’s session at $45.45 per barrel, but was up at $45.76 in early trading in London.
However, this was down more than eight per cent since the beginning of this week, when it was above $50.
US crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures, meanwhile, closed Thursday at $43.16 per barrel, down from more than $47.50 last Friday. But it was slightly up today, at $43.39.
The fall came in a week when figures showed surprise rise in US stockpiles.
Earlier this week the American Petroleum Institute showed US crude stocks rose by 942,000 barrels to 525.5m barrels in the week to 26 August.
The figures had represented more than double what the markets had expected.
A Reuters poll of 34 analysts and economists forecast Brent would average $45.44 a barrel in 2016, slightly lower than last month's forecast of $45.51.
The reductions came after a month of improvement in prices, which climbed more than 20 per cent from the beginning of August over hopes of a possible output freeze from members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
— Peter Wells (@_PeterWells) September 2, 2016