Brent crude oil futures added 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $45.94 a barrel by 0134 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $43.33 a barrel. Both benchmarks settled at a five-month high on Tuesday.
"Crude oil prices gained, dragged higher by surging gasoline futures as Hurricane Laura heads towards the U.S. Gulf Coast," ANZ analysts said in a note on Wednesday.
The U.S. energy industry on Tuesday was preparing for a major hurricane strike. Producers evacuated 310 offshore facilities and shut 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output, 84% of Gulf of Mexico's offshore production - near the 90% outage that Hurricane Katrina brought 15 years ago.
"Markets are currently pricing in a possible near-term catastrophic gasoline shortage," said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Top U.S. and Chinese officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal, which has seen China lagging on its obligations to buy American goods, potentially boosting flows between the world's two largest oil consumers.
Further price support came from data from the American Petroleum Institute showing U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell more than expected last week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy, will release its own official inventory data later on Wednesday.
Still, downward pressure came from concern about demand after data showing U.S. consumer confidence has tumbled to its lowest in more than six years due to concern about coronavirus-induced job losses.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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