Oil extends week-long rally

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    TOKYO- Oil prices rose again on Wednesday, extending their more than week-long rally after industry data showing a fall in US crude oil stocks added to optimism about an expected rise in global fuel demand.

    Brent crude was up by 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $61.20 after rising nearly 1 percent on Tuesday, when it touched a 13-month high. US crude added 2 cents to $58.28.

    Crude inventories fell by 3.5 million barrels in the week to Feb. 5 to about 474.1 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

    That compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for an increase of 985,000 barrels. Official Energy Information Administration (EIA) data is due at 1530 GMT on Wednesday.

    “A reading similar to the one reported by the API would likely continue to provide support to the market,” ING Economics said in a note.

    Crude oil stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point dropped by 1.4 million barrels, API said.

    Still, inventories of gasoline rose, gaining by 4.8 million barrels, compared with analysts’ forecasts in a Reuters poll for a build of 1.8 million barrels. Official data is due later on Wednesday.

    Oil prices have rallied since November as governments kicked off vaccination drives for COVID-19, while putting in place large stimulus packages to boost economic activity. – Reuters