WTI Crude
50.43
Brent Crude
56.58
Natural Gas
2.96

Oil prices hover near eight-week high on lower U.S. inventories

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Oil prices traded close to eight-week highs on Thursday, boosted by a steeper-than-expected slide in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 dipped by 2 cents to $50.95 a barrel at 1346 GMT, after rising about 1.5 percent in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures CLc1 slipped 1 cent at $48.74 a barrel.

Both contracts traded lower earlier in the session on a stronger dollar, but recovered most of the lost ground. A stronger U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated crude more expensive for investors holding other currencies.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a 7.2 million barrel drop in U.S. inventories in the week to July 21, much more than the 2.6 million barrels forecast.

“As encouraging as this may seem, the price recovery won’t begin in earnest until evidence of U.S. oil rebalancing is mirrored on a global scale,” Stephen Brennock at oil brokerage PVM said.

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Written by Ahmad Ghaddar for Reuters.com

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