The latest inventory report by the American Petroleum Institute injected some optimism into crude oil markets, suggesting that U.S. stockpiles fell by as much as 3.9 million barrels in the week to June 24.
This is significantly more than the 2.4 million barrels seen by analysts polled by Reuters and the sixth consecutive week of inventory draws, should the API information be confirmed by the official figures that will be released later today by the Energy Information Administration.
Last week, the API said inventories had plummeted by 5.2 million barrels in the week to June 17, but EIA data revealed that the draw was much more moderate, at less than a million barrels.
Still, oil was up on Tuesday, as anxiety around the Brexit vote started to subside and as oil industry unions in Norway threatened with a strike. Related: The Oil Price Relief Rally Has Begun
The August contract for Brent crude, the global benchmark, closed at US$48.61 a barrel on ICE, up 3 percent, after touching an intraday high of US$48.58, and was trading at US$48.85 at 12:36 AM EDT today.
West Texas Intermediate, for its part, settled at US$47.85 on Tuesday, hitting an intraday peak of US$47.81 and narrowing the spread with Brent. One half an hour after midnight EDT, the benchmark was trading at US$48.16 a barrel.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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