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Oil prices above $50, buoyed by US stock draw

Oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Wednesday, with U.S. crude joining Brent above $50 a barrel after data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a larger than expected draw on stocks.

U.S. crude futures‘ August contract, the new front month from Wednesday, had climbed 9 cents to $49.94 a barrel by 0223 GMT. Earlier it rose to as high as $50.54, marking the first time it had risen above $50 since June 10.

Brent crude futures were up 4 cents at $50.66 a barrel, after settling down 3 cents at $50.62 on Tuesday.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels for the week ended June 17, the API said. The trade group’s figures were triple the draw of 1.7 million barrels forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

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