Oil rises as US oil stockpiles drop


    MELBOURNE- Oil prices climbed on Wednesday after industry data showed US crude stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week and China, the world’s second-biggest oil user, reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 cases, bolstering hopes of a pickup in demand.

    US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $52.71 a barrel, reversing some of Tuesday’s loss.

    Brent crude futures climbed 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $56.02 a barrel, adding to a small gain on Tuesday.

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported crude oil inventories in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, fell by 5.3 million barrels in the week to Jan. 22 compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a build of 430,000 barrels.

    However, the data showed gasoline stocks rose by 3.1 million barrels, which was much more than expected.

    “The crude oil drawdown has offered some support to the market in early trading this morning with the market expecting a build,” ING economics said in a note.

    “On the product side, the numbers were less constructive.”

    The API data showed distillate fuel inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.4 million barrels, compared to expectations for a draw of 361,000 barrels and refinery runs fell by 76,000 barrels per day.