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Oil struggled to recover during afternoon Asia trade on Thursday after prices tumbled 5 per cent on Wednesday on news that US inventories had surged to a record high.

International benchmark Brent crude rose 0.8 per cent to $53.54 a barrel on Thursday recovering slightly from its $2.81 fall yesterday which saw it close at $53.11 a barrel. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 0.6 per cent to $50.59 a barrel, having dropped 5.4 per cent the day prior to close at $50.28 a barrel.

The Wednesday fall came as the US energy department released data showing US stockpiles had risen for a ninth consecutive month to 8.2m barrels.

Oil-related stocks fell across the Asia Pacific region, with Hong Kong-listed China energy companies Sinopec and PetroChina down 3 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively, while Inpex Corp in Japan had slipped 1.4 per cent.

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