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US oil extends gains after crude inventories fall

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US oil edged up on Thursday to extend gains from the previous session, lifted by a decline in US commercial crude inventories, while international crude markets were weaker due to the trade dispute between the United States and China.

[SINGAPORE] US oil edged up on Thursday to extend gains from the previous session, lifted by a decline in US commercial crude inventories, while international crude markets were weaker due to the trade dispute between the United States and China.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at US$67.90 per barrel at 0118 GMT, up 4 US cents from their last settlement. That followed a 3 per cent jump the previous session.

"Oil prices jumped overnight as inventories drew down more than expected," said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

US commercial crude oil inventories fell by 5.8 million barrels in the week to Aug. 17 to 408.36 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

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International markets were weaker as the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China was seen as a drag on economic growth.

Brent crude oil futures were at US$74.65 per barrel, down 13 US cents from their last close.

US and Chinese officials this week met for the first time in over two months to resolve the deepening trade conflict, so far without result, with the latest round of US tariffs due to be implemented on Thursday.

On the supply side, US crude oil production rose back to 11 million barrels per day, the EIA report said.

That means the world's three top producers, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia, now all churn out around 11 million bpd, meeting a third of global demand.

REUTERS