* API says U.S. crude inventories rise, fuel stocks fall
* Libyan oil output recovering, OPEC watching progress
* Coming Up: Weekly EIA supply report, 1430 GMT
By Alex Lawler
LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Oil edged up to around $42 a
barrel on Wednesday, supported by rising investor risk appetite
and a report that U.S. fuel inventories fell, although rising
crude supply and concern of stalling demand capped gains.
European equities rose after better-than-expected German
manufacturing data, giving oil a boost. The
American Petroleum Institute said U.S. inventories of gasoline
and distillate fuel dropped, while those of crude rose..
"The rebound in risk appetite today is lifting oil prices a
little," said Craig Erlam, analyst at broker OANDA. "But it
already faces stiff resistance."
Brent crude was up 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $41.86 at
1345 GMT, reversing an earlier drop. U.S. West Texas
Intermediate crude was up 20 cents, or 0.5%, at $40.00.
Both contracts fell more than 4% on Monday, though they rose on
In focus at 1430 GMT will be the official U.S. inventory
numbers from the Energy Information Administration to see if
they confirm the report from the API, an industry group.
Surging COVID-19 infections in countries including India,
France and Spain and new restrictions in Britain have renewed
worries about demand, just as more supply may come from Libya.
In the United States, the death toll has passed 200,000.
"Oil prices are still faring comparatively well today given
all the headwinds they are facing – a firm U.S. dollar, concerns
about demand, rising supply," said Carsten Fritsch of
Oil collapsed as the pandemic decimated demand, with Brent
falling below $16, a 21-year low, in April. A record output cut
by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and
allies, known as OPEC+, has helped revive prices.
OPEC faces a new challenge in that Libya, an OPEC member
exempt from the supply cut, is aiming to boost supply after an
easing of the country's conflict. Still, previous
recoveries have not lasted.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Kirsten
Donovan and Mark Potter)