Oil Prices Trade Higher on Crude Inventories Data
Oil prices traded higher on Thursday in Asia after official government data showed a larger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude inventories.U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures gained 1.4% to $54.72 by 1:14 AM ET (05:14 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures traded 1.3% higher to $62.64.The Energy Information Administration said in its regular weekly report that crude oil inventories decreased by 3.11 million barrels in the week to June 14.That was compared to forecasts for a stockpile draw of 1.08 million barrels after a build of 2.21 million barrels in the previous week.In other news, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) finally agreed to push back their official meeting to July 1, followed by a meeting with non-OPEC allies on July 2, switching from previously agreed dates of June 25-26.OPEC and its allies will discuss whether to extend a deal on cutting 1.2 million barrels per day of production that expires in June."Oil price volatility is likely to persist, but the upcoming OPEC meeting should serve to provide the markets with a reasonable backstop and will offer some much-needed respite for prices," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok, in a Reuters report.U.S. crude received a boost earlier this week on hopes that a trade deal could be made between the U.S. and China after U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed he will be meeting with China’s Xi Jinping next week at the G-20 summit in Japan.The two leaders had a “very good conversation” on phone and are expected to have an “extended meeting” at the meeting next week, according to Trump.