After plunging as much as 2.1 percent on Wednesday, futures in New York moved up in volatile trading. Despite persistent hints of a worldwide oil shortage, a more than 4 million-barrel increase in US crude stockpiles failed to keep markets lower. According to an OPEC secretariat document being considered by the group's Joint Technical Committee, world oil output is estimated to be 1.2 million barrels per day below demand in October and 900,000 barrels per day below demand in November.
The rise in oil prices earlier this week — and Brent's rise above $80 a barrel — reflected evidence of a tighter worldwide market, as demand grew and natural gas costs rose. Higher oil prices this month have fueled speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners may ease production cuts sooner rather than later. The White House said Tuesday that it is continuing to discuss the necessity of competitive markets with OPEC and other international partners, as well as doing more to boost the recovery.
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