Oil rises on declining crude stocks in US

TOKYO/SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose on Thursday after an industry report showed a bigger-than-expected decline in US crude inventories, although concerns that the US-China trade war will trigger an economic downturn kept a lid on gains.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.85 per barrel at 0700 GMT, up 40 cents, or 0.6 per cent, from their last close. Brent fell nearly 1 per cent in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 48 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $59.29 a barrel. US crude inventories fell by 5.3 million barrels in the week to May 24 to 474.4 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Wednesday.
Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due on Thursday at 1500 GMT. Outside the United States, oil prices remain supported by output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and other major producers as well as falling supplies from Iran.
Iranian May crude exports dropped to less than half of April levels at around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), tanker data showed and two industry sources said, after the United States tightened sanctions on Tehran’s main source of income.
Since Opec and its allies started withholding supply in January, oil prices have risen by about 30 per cent.— Reuters