Crude oil prices were up on Thursday following a big fall in US oil inventories and a weakening of the dollar as rising coronavirus cases worldwide keep feeding investors’ worries about global demand outlook.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $45.47 per barrel at 0942 GMT for a 0.06% increase after closing Wednesday at $45.44 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $41.73 a barrel at the same time for a 1.13% decline after ending the previous session at $42.21 per barrel.

Commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell by 7.4 million barrels, or 1.4%, to 518.6 million barrels for the week ending July 31, the data showed. The market expectation was a decrease of 3 million barrels.

A weakening dollar, which makes oil relatively cheaper for foreign currency holders, has also boosted rates.

Growing numbers of COVID-19 cases all over the world also appear to suggest that global oil consumption is likely to remain low by 2020.

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has now surpassed 18 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

As the US leads the number of cases with almost 4.8 million as of Wednesday morning, Brazil has over 2.8 million, and India follows with more than 1.9 million cases.

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