A Reuters poll on Monday forecast that US crude inventories as a whole fell by 2.1 million barrels last week.
Technical market indicators pointed towards further price increases, with Reuters analyst Wang Tao seeing Brent rise to USD 49.70 per barrel based on Fibonacci retracement indicators while WTI could edge up to USD 47.78 a barrel.
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In another indicator that prices may have bottomed out, hedge funds continued to pare short positions in US crude oil last week in a sign that they are no longer believe in big further price falls.
Yet many analysts stay oil prices still have space to fall, with several banks including Goldman Sachs and ANZ revising their price forecasts downward this month, arguing that it will take until at least 2016 or 2017 to remove a huge overhang that has been built up over the last years by soaring production just as demand slows.
“We think that WTI will trade down to below USD 40/bbl over the next six months, before supply-side constraints start to be felt,” ANZ bank said in its latest forecast revision published this week.