Oil prices hit a nine-month high early on Thursday after U.S. government data showed that crude stockpiles fell last week and on optimism over a coronavirus relief package in the United States, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Brent crude futures rose by 28 cents, or 0.6%, to $51.36 a barrel at 0116 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 27 cents, or 0.6%, to $48.09 a barrel. Both benchmarks hit their highest since early March.
U.S. crude inventories [USOILC=ECI] fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 11, the Energy Information Administration said. This was more than analysts’ expectations of a 1.9-million-barrel drop, after stockpiles surged in last week’s data.
“U.S. production also fell... the first time since late October,” ANZ analysts said in a note on Thursday.