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Oil prices were steady on Thursday after U.S. data showing record high gasoline inventories and an unexpected big build in crude offset the United States' threat of sanctions on OPEC member Venezuela.

Brent crude futures fell 18 cents to $60.96 a barrel by 11:23 a.m. EST. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 24 cents to $52.86 a barrel, Reuters said.

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U.S. crude inventories sharply rose by 8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said, versus forecasts of a decline of 42,000 barrels.

Gasoline stocks rose for the eighth straight week to a record 259.7 million barrels, as demand for the motor fuel over past four weeks fell 0.1 percent from year ago.

"The report was rather bearish, punctuated by the large crude oil inventory increase," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital Management. "Gasoline demand remains anemic."

Worries about the longer-term outlook for global economic growth, and therefore demand for crude, has been undermining bullish moves in the oil market. Persistent concerns about the U.S-China trade war as well as slower world growth forecasts have kept investors wary.