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Oil Prices Rise; EIA Reports Larger-than-Expected Drop in U.S. Crude Inventories

Investing.com - Oil prices rose on Thursday in Asia after data showing U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected last week.

U.S. {{8849|Crude Oil WTI Futures} }inched up 0.1% to $56.84 by 11:56 PM ET (03:56 GMT). International benchmark Brent crude rose 0.3% to $63.87.

The Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude stockpiles fell by 3.12 million barrels in the week to July 12, compared to forecasts for a stockpile draw of 2.69 million.

Gasoline inventories unexpectedly rose 3.57 million barrels, compared to expectations for a draw of 0.93 million barrels, the report also showed.

Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles rose 5.69 million barrels, more than the expected 0.61 million gains.

“A solid drop in implied demand has yielded very solid builds to both gasoline and middle distillates,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at crude cargoes tracker Clipperdata.

“Next week’s report will likely be even more mottled by the impact of Hurricane Barry."

Oil prices were under pressure earlier this week following reports that the U.S. and Iran might begin talks soon, easing tension in the Middle East. However, Iran later denied the reports.

Renewed Sino-U.S. trade tensions were also cited as a headwind. U.S. President Donald Trump accused Beijing of not buying U.S. farm products as agreed and said a trade deal with China might not be concluded in the near term. The president also threatened to slap additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

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