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U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Fell by 1.4M Barrels Last Week: EIA

© Reuters.
© Reuters. – U.S. crude oil inventories fell last week, breaking a stretch of three consecutive builds, according to official government data released on Wednesday.

The Energy Information Administration said in its regular weekly report that declined by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12.

That was compared to forecasts for a stockpile draw of 1.2 million barrels, after a gain of 7.03 million barrels in the previous week.

The EIA report also showed however that declined by 1.17 million barrels, compared to expectations for a draw of 2.13 million barrels, although dropped by just 0.36 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 0.85 million.

pared gains after the data release, inching up 0.02% at $64.06 a barrel by 10:34 AM ET (14:34 GMT), compared to $64.18 prior to the publication.

London-traded were unchanged at $71.72 a barrel, compared to $71.78 ahead of the release.

Ahead of the report, crude prices were supported by positive economic data out of China. Beijing reported for the first quarter, beating expectations for a slowdown to 6.3%. Other data released overnight also showed larger-than-forecast increases in and for March.

The positive data from the world’s largest oil importer eased concerns over the negative impact on demand from an economic slowdown.

Despite the positive data, worries over the future of OPEC-led production cuts have limited gains this week. According to TASS news agency, Russia’s finance minister suggested on Monday that oil producers may wish to increase output when the agreement ends in June in order to recapture market share from the U.S. that has been producing at record highs.

Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, said on Wednesday that it was too early to discuss possible options with regard to its agreement with OPEC, according to Bloomberg. Novak emphasized that a decision would be made at the summit in June.

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