|Published : 16 Mar 2017, 13:46:32|
Oil prices rise after drop in US stockpiles
Crude oil prices rose on Thursday in early Asian trading, extending gains from the previous session after official data showed US stockpiles had eased from record highs.
Prices surged on Wednesday after a slew of market reports and official data offered some hope that a near three-year global glut in oil is coming to an end, albeit more slowly than many anticipated.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 28 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $49.14 a barrel by 0010 GMT, having surged 2.4 per cent in the previous session to settle at $48.86.
Brent futures climbed 34 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $52.15. They had their first increase in seven days on Wednesday, gaining 1.7 per cent.
The benchmarks have bounced off their lowest levels since the OPEC agreed at the end of last year to cut crude production, with an initial surge evaporating as stockpiles remained high.
Data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed US crude stocks fell last week, the first weekly decline after nine straight increases.
Crude inventories fell 237,000 barrels in the week to March 10. Analysts had forecast an increase of 3.7 million barrels.
The inventories have been closely watched by oil traders to determine whether the OPEC agreement to cut output is reducing the global glut.
Oil bulls were also encouraged after the International Energy Agency said in its monthly oil report that demand should overtake supply in the first half of this year, according to Reuters.