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Inventories of US crude slid for the second consecutive week — the longest streak of draws since December — even as gasoline stocks unexpectedly rose.

Inventories of US crude fell by 1.03m barrels in the week to April 14, broadly in line with estimates, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. At 532.3m barrels, US crude stocks have come off record highs.

Meanwhile, stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, unexpectedly fell by 778,000 barrels, compared with estimates for a build of 162,500 barrels.

That came as imports averaged over 7.8m barrels per day last week, down by 68,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Stocks of gasoline however unexpectedly rose by 1.5m barrels, compared with forecasts of a drop of 1.6m barrels.

Ahead of the release oil prices were modestly higher with WTI up 0.2 per cent to $52.52 a barrel, while Brent crude, the global oil marker, was up 0.3 per cent to $55.06 a barrel.

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