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Oil prices up slightly, but investors keep an eye on oversupply

Supply in the spotlight

Crude oil prices rose slightly in Asia trade Wednesday, but lingering oversupply concerns mean traders are treading cautiously, despite a rise in China’s crude oil imports last month.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November CLX5, +0.13% traded at $46.96 a barrel, up $0.34 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude LCOX5, +0.18% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.12 to $49.36 a barrel. Year-to-date, the Nymex and Brent prices have fallen 12.4% and 14%, respectively.

The International Energy Agency on Tuesday reported that global oil demand will slow to 1.2 million barrels a day next year, from a five-year high of 1.8 million barrels a day in 2015. Meanwhile, the resumption of Iranian oil flow will add on to the already hefty supply.

Oil producers’ reluctance...