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Oil prices rise on surprise U.S. crude inventory draw

Oil prices rise on surprise U.S. crude inventory draw

WASHING TON: Oil prices rose on Thursday,lifted by a surprise draw on U.S. crude inventories as well asongoing dollar weakness which makes oil cheaper in globalmarkets and potentially spurs demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 wereat $65.27 a barrel at 0122 GMT, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent,from their previous close.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.53 per barrel, up 6cents, or 0.1 percent.

Both benchmarks are hovering just below their highest levelssince early February, having risen around 10 percent from Marchlows.

In oil markets, U.S. crude inventories C-STK-T-EIA fell2.6 million barrels in the week to March 16, to 428.31 millionbarrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said lateon Wednesday.

“Oil  had a big session overnight although this wasn’tjust a function of the interest rate move. Inventory data forlast week showed a surprise crude draw as well as significantdrawdowns in both gasoline and distillates inventories,” saidWilliam O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s RivkinSecurities.