Large inventory draw signals recovery in crude demand in US, easing investor concerns over dwindling demand
Oil prices increased on Thursday, supported by a drop in US crude oil inventories easing demand concerns.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $102.71 per barrel at 08.45 a.m. local time (0545 GMT) for a 1.02% increase after closing at $101.67 a barrel in previous trade.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $98.33 per barrel at the same time for a 1.10% gain after closing the previous session at $97.26 a barrel.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed on Wednesday that US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by around 4.5 million barrels to 422.1 million barrels, exceeding the market expectation of a 4.03-million barrel fall.
The large inventory draw signals a recovery in crude demand in the US,easing investor concerns over dwindling demand, which, in turn, supports higher prices.
Meanwhile, Russia reduced its gas export level via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany from 40% to 20% of capacity, which analysts believe could raise oil prices if buyers turn to oil to replace gas.