Oil bounces off 5-week lows but Harvey still weighs

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Oil prices bounced off a five-week below the knob on Thursday, while gasoline futures remained sharply higher, as markets continued to weigh the outcome of Tropical Storm Harvey on supply and demand.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude October contract was at $46.34 a barrel by 09:00 a.m. ET (13:00 GMT), up 38 cents or around 0.83%. It ended 1% lower on Wednesday after hitting its weakest level since July 24 at $45.58.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery for the ICE Futures Exchange inside london gained 53 cents or 1.06%, to $51.25 a barrel.

Oil prices are under pressure in the week as Tropical Storm Harvey battered the U.S. Gulf Coast, ripping through Texas and Louisiana in the middle on the U.S. petroleum industry.

Texas hosts 5.6 million barrels of refining capacity daily, and Louisiana has 3.3 million barrels. Over 2 million barrels every day (bpd) of refining capacity were estimated to remain offline resulting from the storm.

U.S. commercial oil stocks fell by 5.4 million barrels a couple weeks ago, reported by data released Wednesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, marking the ninth straight weekly decline. However, the information was collected before Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for October jumped 2.54% to $1.684 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for October delivery slid 0.34% to $2.93 per million British thermal units, as traders looked ahead to weekly storage data due later from the day.

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