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Crude Oil Prices Trim Losses after Drop in U.S. Stockpiles

Crude still under pressure after EIA reports decline in U.S. inventories

Investing.com - Oil prices trimmed losses on Thursday, after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that domestic crude stockpiles fell more than expected last week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 92 cents, or around 1.77% at $50.38 a barrel by 11:05 a.m. ET (15:05 GMT), off Wednesday's more than one-week highs of $51.41. Prices were at around $50.27 prior to the release of the inventory data.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S. lost 82 cents or about 1.44% to $56.12 a barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories fell by 2.75 million barrels in the week ended October 6.

Market analysts' expected a decline of around 1.99 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday reported an unexpected supply-increase of 3.1 million barrels.

Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, increased by 1.32 million barrels last week, the EIA said.

The report also showed that gasoline inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels, compared to expectations for a decline of 480,000 barrels. For distillate inventories including diesel, the EIA reported a fall of 1,5 million barrels.

The commodity had strengthened earlier in the week, after Saudi Arabia announced plans on Monday to cut monthly exports in November.

The move is part of ongoing efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with other producers, including Russia, to curb oversupply and stabilize prices by cutting output in a deal which is due to expire in March 2018.

In its monthly report released on Wednesday, OPEC indicated that market rebalancing will continue amid forecasts that global oil demand will rise by around 30,000 barrels a day for this year and 2018.

The International Energy Agency said in its own monthly report on Thursday that global supply and demand for crude oil will be largely balanced next year.

Separately, U.S. President Donald Trump was expected Thursday to announce a de-certification of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, putting its future into question. The Persian nation is an OPEC member and key Middle Eastern oil producer.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures were down 1.38% at $1.585 a gallon, while natural gas futures advanced 3.32% to $2.986 per million British thermal units.

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