July 25, 2018 / 12:57 AM / 2 months ago

Oil prices rise for second day, buoyed by fall in U.S. inventories

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose for a second day on Wednesday after industry group data showed U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected last week, easing worries about oversupply that had dragged on markets in recent sessions.

Brent crude was up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $73.73 a barrel by 0035 GMT. The global benchmark settled 38 cents higher at $73.44 a barrel on Tuesday, after climbing as high as $74.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $68.74, having settled the previous session up 63 cents, or nearly 1 percent.

Reports that China will increase infrastructure spending also helped reduce concerns that U.S.-China trade tensions will dent the country’s demand for oil.

U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles dropped more than expected last week, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

Crude inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels in the week to July 20 to 407.6 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.3 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub dropped by 808,000 barrels, the API said. Refinery crude runs declined by 60,000 barrels per day.

Gasoline stocks fell by 4.9 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 713,000-barrel drop.

Distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.3 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 207,000-barrel gain, the API data showed.

U.S. crude imports last week eased by 249,000 barrels per day to 8.3 million bpd.

Official figures from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration are due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday. (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick Editing by Joseph Radford)

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