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Oil prices rise ahead of US inventory report

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Oil prices rebounded Wednesday, rising with US equities, on expectations of a bullish US petroleum inventory report.

[NEW YORK] Oil prices rebounded Wednesday, rising with US equities, on expectations of a bullish US petroleum inventory report.

Analysts have been presuming US motorists would take advantage of relatively low gasoline prices as the US calendar moves into peak summer driving season.

The average price of a gallon (3.8 litres) of regular gasoline in the US is currently US$2.26, down 18 per cent from the year-ago period, according to data from the American Automobile Association.

"Refineries are running hard," said Carl Larry, a consultant at Frost & Sullivan.

"We've moved past this whole Brexit worry and we're starting to focus again on what's happening in the US."

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery rose 83 US cents to US$47.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea oil for September delivery advanced 84 US cents to US$48.80 a barrel in London.

Mr Larry also expects the Department of Energy's (DOE) weekly inventory report to show lower US oil production, continuing a trend of declining output due to low oil prices.

The DOE will release its report Thursday, a day later than usual due to Monday's public holiday.

Oil prices fell again early in the session on continued negative momentum from Tuesday, when rising production from Nigeria and other Opec members weighed on sentiment.

But oil prices shifted into positive territory around the same time as the US equity markets went into the black.

Analysts said oil prices were further boosted by a drop in the US dollar. A weaker dollar typically boosts demand for crude oil, which is traded in the US currency on international markets.

AFP