Oil prices were up on Thursday with a surprise decline in US crude oil inventories and a fall in gasoline stocks that exceeded market expectations.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $29.52 per barrel at 0640 GMT for a 1.13% increase after closing on Wednesday at $29.19 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $25.58 a barrel at the same time for a 1.14% gain after ending the previous day at $25.29 per barrel.

In the US, commercial crude oil inventories posted their first decline last week since January after 15 successive weeks of increases. Inventories decreased by 700,000 barrels against the market expectation of a rise of 4.1 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks in the US also posted a decline of 3.5 million barrels last week to beat the market expectation of a fall of 2.2 million barrels.

Despite the decline in stocks, crude inventories in the US’ storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma reached around 62.4 million barrels as of last week, which means over 82% of storage capacity is full in the region out of the total capacity of 76 million barrels.

On the demand side, global oil consumption remains weak due to coronavirus-related quarantines, which is keeping downward pressure on crude prices.

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