Oil prices tumbled Thursday on profit taking after markets rallied the previous day due to a draw in U.S. stocks and an expectation of an OPEC-led cut in production.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $51.44 per barrel at 0122 GMT, down 16 cents from their last close.
International Brent crude futures were trading at $52.64 per barrel, down 3 cents.
Traders said that the price dips were a result of profit taking following a rally the previous day, which saw WTI settle at a 15 month high, fueled by a reduction in U.S. crude stocks by 5.2 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 14 to 468.7 million barrels.
“Oil prices continued to rise overnight on optimism over OPEC supply restraint and weaker-than-expected inventories,” ANZ bank said on Thursday.
The overall mood in oil markets remained confident, with most analysts expecting further increases.
Reuters technical commodity analyst Wang Tao said U.S. oil is expected to break a resistance zone of $51.67-$52.11 per barrel, and then rise towards $52.78, while Brent oil may stabilize around a support at $52.49 per barrel and then retest a resistance at $53.45.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plans to meet on Nov. 30 and hopes to decide on a half a million to one million barrels per day oil production cut, and the producer cartel hopes that non-OPEC exporters, especially Russia, will cooperate.