Oil prices bolstered by bigger-than-expected drop in US crude stocks
Oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after an industry report showed that US inventories of crude fell more than analysts had expected, bolstering hopes that fuel demand in the world's biggest economy can weather the coronavirus pandemic.
Brent crude LCOc1 was up 15 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $44.65 a barrel by 0206 GMT, after falling around 1 per cent on Tuesday.
West Texas Intermediate oil was up 9 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 4 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.