Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices were higher on Thursday morning, as some investors saw buying opportunities following overnight lows where West Texas Intermediate dipped below $50 per barrel.
As of 10:40 a.m. EST, WTI front-month futures rose 1.8 percent to $51.18 per barrel while Brent front-month futures rose just under 1 percent to $59.67 as of the same time.
"After dipping below the $50 mark for the first time in a year, some bargain-hunting has entered the fray," Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, told UPI.
Traders "continue to weigh up immediate excess in the market -- with Saudi production and exports reaching a record -- versus the growing expectation that OPEC will have to announce a sizable coordinated production cut at next week's meeting to remove the blanket of bearish sentiment currently covering the market," he added.
Hours earlier, crude oil prices had declined in the overnight market, driven lower by "unfavorable fundamentals," independent commodities analyst Lakshan De Silva said.
"Tepid expectations" drove WTI futures down 1.8 percent to $49.41 per barrel in New York, the lowest level since October 2017, De Silva said.
"The WTI January contract was at $49.62 per barrel at 4:33 a.m EST time," he said. "Trading volumes were nearly double the 100 day average," Lakshan added.
On Wednesday the Energy Information Administration issued its most recent weekly report saying that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, for the week ended November 23, increased by 3.6 million barrels from the previous week.
"At 450.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 7 percent above the five-year average for this time of year," the EIA said.
Traders are watching for any decision OPEC could take during a scheduled December 6 meeting in Vienna.
In addition, there will be a meeting of the G20 at the end of the month in Argentina where leaders of China and the United States could discuss trade issues. Any advances could eliminate concerns about trade disputes possibly slowing economic growth, which could affect crude oil demand.
Russian and Saudi Arabian leaders will also have an opportunity to discuss potential crude oil production cuts ahead of the OPEC meeting in a bid to push crude prices higher, traders have said.