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Oil prices reversed their gains after data on Wednesday showed that stockpiles of US crude fell less than forecast.

Stockpiles of US crude fell by 930,000 barrels in the week ended April 28, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, smaller than the 2.9m barrel draw that analysts had forecast.

That marked the fourth consecutive week of back-to-back declines in oil stocks the longest such streak since December. At 527.8m barrels, US crude oil inventories are near record highs.

Stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma also fell less than expected with weekly inventories falling by 728,000 barrels, compared with estimates for a sharper draw of 1.15m.

US oil imports averaged about 8.3m barrels per day last week, down by 648,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Oil prices had rebounded ahead of the release after a report from American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, showed a sharp drop in US oil and gasoline stocks. But following the report West Texas Intermediate, the US crude marker, slid 0.4 per cent to $47.45 a barrel, while Brent fell 0.2 per cent to $50.34 a barrel.

The report also showed that stocks of gasoline, one of the products that crude is refined into, increased by 191,000 barrels, against expectations for a bigger build of 1.66m barrels.

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