ANKARA

Crude oil prices were up on Thursday as gasoline inventories in the US showed declines, indicating that demand for gasoline in the country is on the rise.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $23.23 per barrel at 0635 GMT for a 6.26% increase after closing Wednesday at $21.86 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $20.52 a barrel at the same time for a 6.21% rise after ending the previous day at $19.32 per barrel.

Gasoline inventories in the US showed a decline of 3.7 million barrels, or 1.4%, to 259.6 million barrels for the week ending April 24, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

The decline in gasoline stocks implied that demand for gasoline in the world’s biggest oil consumer showed some revival, causing marginal increases in crude prices.

However, crude prices continue to stay under pressure from weak global oil demand due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Oil prices are expected to remain under pressure until quarantine measures around the world end and normalization begins with a boost in airline traffic and overall transportation.

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