TOKYO: Oil prices dropped on Thursday as the impact of plentiful U.S. production offset a surprise decline in U.S. inventories, leaving international benchmark Brent retreating from a five-month high touched in the previous session.
Brent crude futures were at US$71.42 a barrel at 0235 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. Brent fell 0.1 percent on Wednesday, after earlier touching its highest since Nov. 8 at US$72.27 a barrel, report agencies.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at US$63.69 per barrel, down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their previous settlement. WTI closed the last session down 0.5 percent.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 1.7 million barrels, Department of Energy (DoE) showed on Wednesday.
"A persistent rise in U.S. oil output, together with lingering demand-side concerns emerging from the U.S.-China trade dispute, is limiting price gains," Abhishek Kumar, Head of Analytics at Interfax Energy in London. Graphic: U.S. crude inventories, weekly changes since 2017, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2XlX17b
While official data on Wednesday showed China's economy grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, talks on a U.S.-China trade deal have yet to bear fruit.