Brent oil once again struggling above $52 handle

Brent oil is once again having a tough time above $52.00 handle as investors continue to evaluate the possibility of OPEC output cut deal.

Prices have had a tough time holding/extending gains above $52.00 levels since last Thursday. The sideways action around $52.00 has forced many to speculate that OPEC deal may have been priced-in.

US gasoline stocks rise

The American Petroleum Institute (API) data released overnight showed a 900,000-barrel increase in gasoline stocks and a 2.3 million-barrel decline in distillate inventories. Meanwhile, oil supplies fell 3.8 million barrels last week.

The US government inventory report is due for release later today. A decline in the oil inventories would be good news, however, traders would want to see a drop in gasoline and distillate inventories as well.

Brent prices clocked a high of $52.31 in Asia before retreating to near $52.10 levels. Across the pond, WTI was trading 50 cents around $50.80/barrel.