LONDON: Oil futures gained on Wednesday, boosted by a surprise drawdown in US crude stockpiles, but an escalating US-Chinese trade fight limited oil’s gains as investors worried about the global outlook for energy demand.
Brent crude futures rose 44 cents to $70.32 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 57 cents to $61.97 a barrel, a 0.9 percent gain.
US crude inventories fell by 4 million barrels in the week to May 3, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts had expected an increase of 1.2 million barrels.
Gasoline stocks fell by 596,000 barrels, while distillate inventories fell by 159,000 barrels, data showed.
“Crude oil imports fell sharply last week, which was the main reason for the draw in crude oil stocks,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.
Prices have gained about 30 percent so far this year as the global supply outlook has tightened due to US sanctions on crude exporters Iran and Venezuela, as well as supply cuts by OPEC, Russia and their allies.
The US will not grant any more waivers to any countries that would allow them to buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions, a senior US diplomat said on Wednesday.
Still, prices were pressured by the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The US will raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports from Friday.
Oil prices shoot to 2019 highs as US tightens sanctions on IranOil prices spike as US prepares end to Iran sanctions waivers