Economic Outlook Has No Effect on Downward Oil Prices

Oil prices fell back a bit on Wednesday, despite prospects for stronger global economic growth as talks to revive a nuclear deal with Iran opens the possibility of an easing of sanctions on its oil exports.

Brent crude futures fell by 25 cents, or 0.4%, to $62.49 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 34 cents, or 0.57%, at $58.99.

Prices were trading in positive territory earlier in the session, buoyed by improving economic data.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said that unprecedented public spending to fight COVID-19 would push global growth to 6% this year, a rate not achieved since the 1970s.

However, a possible jump in U.S. fuel inventories and the Iran talks weighed. Iran and other countries held what they described as "constructive" talks on Tuesday and agreed to form working groups to discuss the possibility of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that could lead to Washington lifting sanctions on Iran’s energy sector and increasing oil supply.

U.S. crude stocks were down by 2.6 million barrels in the week ended April 2, while gasoline inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels and distillate stocks up by 2.8 million barrels, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

Official data is due to be released later on Wednesday.