Oil gains on surprise drawdown in U.S. crude inventories

A general view shows the Secco Petrochemical complex in Shanghai. China launched yuan-denominated oil futures contracts on March

U.S. storage dropped by 4.62 million barrels to 425.3 million barrels last week, while outbound shipments of crude expanded to a record, according to an Energy Information Administration report yesterday. "Markets from equities to oil now seem to quickly brush off and recover as the trade dispute between the US and China continues".

Futures in NY slipped 0.4% after climbing 0.8% on Tuesday.

WTI crude oil future -0.27% to $63.37/bbl at last check.

Brent for June settlement declined 2 cents to $68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after slipping 10 cents on Wednesday. Prices erased most of their losses on Wednesday after data showed supplies stored in USA tanks shrank the most since January, in contrast to a forecast for a 2 million-barrel gain. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration will release its weekly inventories data on Wednesday.

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"Oil prices are profiting from the general brightening of sentiment on the markets as signs emerge that the trade dispute is easing between the USA and China", analysts at Commerzbank said in a note.

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at $62.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $1.13, at 11 a.m.in London, after rising 50 cents on Tuesday.

The crude oil prices went up after surprising data for drops in U.S. inventories.

"Russia's report on a modest build of 0.02 million b/d in production, along with market expectations on the Saudi's plan to reduce physical crude oil contracts, weighed in slightly on prices, too", Phillip Futures investment analyst Benjamin Lu said.

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After the Easter break, oil prices started the week on a weaker note as geopolitical development exacerbated operational concerns.

The decline in United States stockpiles has boosted optimism that surging shale output may not thwart Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries's (OPEC) efforts to drain a glut. Opec and other producers are collectively curbing 1.8-million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output to help eliminate a glut in oil inventories.

The energy minister of OPEC member Qatar told Reuters that the organization and its allies should maintain supply cuts, which are set to run until the end of 2018.

Moreover, the oil output in Venezuela continues to decline.

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