Crude oil prices rebounded in early Asia on Friday, shrugging off large builds in U.S. stockpiles, as investors looked ahead to Greece and the euro zone and whether the country can manages to secure continued debt financing. NOn the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.40% to trade at $52.04 a barrel. Overnight, West Texas Intermediate oil futures remained in negative territory on Thursday, after data showed that oil supplies in the U.S. rose to the highest level on record, exacerbating fears over a glut in supplies. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 7.7 million barrels in the week ended February 13, compared to expectations for an increase of 3.3 million barrels. Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood
at 425.6 million barrels as of last week, the most on records dating back to August 1982.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.5 million barrels, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.2 million, while distillate stockpiles decreased by 3.8 million barrels. The data came out one day later than usual due to Monday's Presidents Day holiday in the U.S. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for April delivery dropped $1.43, or 2.4%, to trade at $59.08 a barrel on Thursday. Oil prices have fallen sharply in recent months as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut output, while the U.S. pumped at the fastest pace in more than three decades, creating a glut in global supplies. Meanwhile, market sentiment remained subdued following reports that Germany rejected a proposed bailout extension request from Greece, as Athens faces running out of money by the end of the month.