Oil prices bolstered by bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude stocks

3D printed oil barrels and percentage symbols are seen in front of dollar banknotes in this illustration taken May 25, 2020. (Reuters file photo)

This bolsters hopes that fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy can weather the coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude was up 15 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $44.65 a barrel by 0206 GMT, after falling around one per cent on Tuesday.

West Texas Intermediate oil was up nine cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $41.70 a barrel, having dropped 0.8 per cent in the previous session.

“Oil prices are rising as the crude demand outlook improves,’’ said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

The American Petroleum Institute said, on Tuesday, that crude stocks fell by four million barrels last week, more than analysts’ expectations of a 2.9 million-barrel draw.

Official government data is due on Wednesday

Still, growing uncertainty over a stalemate in Washington in talks for a stimulus package to support recovery from the deepest impact of the pandemic may weigh on prices looking ahead. (Reuters/NAN)