Oil stabilized on Wednesday, trading near $42 a barrel, with a report that US crude inventories unpredictably increased capping prices and as increasing numbers of coronavirus cases around the world caused concern of slowing demand. 

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said crude inventories increased by 691,000 barrels rather than dropping as analysts predicted. Official inventories numbers from the Energy Information Administration are due at 1430 GMT.

Brent crude increased 0.6% to $41.95 by 0945 GMT, reversing an earlier fall. US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.3% at $39.93. Both contracts dropped more than 4% on Monday, though they increased on Tuesday.