Oil prices surge on falling U.S. inventories

Oil prices continued to climb on Wednesday after data showed U.S. inventories fell more than expected last week.

U.S. crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the July 21 week to 483.4 million, more than the expected decrease of 2.6 million barrels and 1.4 percent below the level a year ago, according to the weekly report by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

Analysts said the data bolstered expectations that the long-oversupplied market was moving toward balance.

Meanwhile, oil prices were also lifted on Wednesday by weaker dollar, which spurred market appetite for the dollar-priced oil.

The West Texas Intermediate for September Delivery added 0.86 dollar to settle at 48.75 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery gained 0.75 dollar to close at 50.97 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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