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Oil prices are recovering in Asia following a hefty drop on Wednesday when data showed an unexpected rise in gasoline stockpiles.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 0.7 per cent today at $53.32 a barrel, after suffering a 3.6 per cent drop on Wednesday. That was its biggest one-day fall since March 8, when prices sank 5 per cent, and took oil to its lowest level in two weeks.

To the close on Wednesday, Brent had fallen three days in a row and shed a cumulative 5.3 per cent in its longest losing streak in a month.

West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was trading 0.6 per cent higher at $50.76 on Thursday after a 3.8 per cent drop in the previous session.

Data from the US energy department on Wednesday showed gasoline inventories rose by 1.5m barrels in the week ended April 14 compared with expectations of a drop of 1.9m barrels. That followed data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, which showed gasoline supplies rose by 1.4m barrels.

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