Oil prices near 2016 highs as U.S. crude inventories drop
Oil prices edged lower on Thursday as traders took profits after three sessions of gains, though prices remained close to their highest this year thanks to a fall in U.S. crude inventories and supply disruptions, according to Reuters.
International Brent crude oil futures traded 13 cents a barrel lower at $52.38 a barrel at 08:45 GMT, after setting a 2016 high of $52.86 a barrel earlier in the session, Reuters reported.
U.S. crude fell by 5 cents a barrel to $51.20 after also hitting a new 2016 high at $51.67.
Oil prices gained ground after data on Wednesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed U.S. crude stocks last week fell 3.23 million barrels to 532.5 million, the third consecutive weekly fall.
Reuters: Oil hits 2016 high on U.S. draw forecasts, Nigeria worry"Lower than usual Canadian flows have helped fuel the draw in ... stock," consultancy Energy Aspects said.
A weaker dollar is also supporting oil prices traders said. The dollar is down about 2.4% this month against a basket of currencies, making dollar-traded fuel imports for countries using other currencies cheaper, Reuters writes.
But some analysts said there were also signs that the recent oil price rise, in which Brent has rallied 6% this month and prices have virtually doubled since February to one-year highs, may be overblown.