Crude oil prices up after API estimates show bigger-than-expected weekly draw

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Crude oil prices pointed higher in early Asia on Wednesday after rising overnight as industry estimates showed a larger-than-expected draw in U.S. inventories.

NYMEX West Texas Intermediate was quoted up 0.30 percent at US$66.04 a barrel, while ICE Brent gained 0.84 percent to US$72.82 a barrel. Brent crude oil futures settled up 0.58 percent to US$72.63 a barrel, while WTI gained 1.38 percent to US$67.35 a barrel.

Overnight crude futures on the Shanghai INE fell 2.00 percent to 470 yuan (US$68.51) a barrel. Singapore markets are shut to mark Eid al Adha.

U.S. crude stocks fell by 5.2 million barrels last week to 405.6 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said, compared with analyst expectations for a drop of 1.5 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 195,000 barrels, API said.

Refinery crude runs rose by 171,000 barrels per day (bpd), API said.

Gasoline stocks fell by 930,000 barrels, compared with an expected 488,000-barrel decline. Distillate supplies eased by 1.8 million barrels, compared with an expected 1.5 million-barrel gain.

U.S. crude imports fell last week by 483,000 bpd to 8.4 million bpd.

On Wednesday, August 22, the Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly report on oil stockpiles at 10:30 a.m. U.S. EDT.

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