Crude oil prices dip slightly

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At 425.3 million barrels, USA crude oil inventories are in the lower half of the average range for this time of the year.

Global markets from equities to oil recovered after investor optimism grew that the United States and China will step back from the brink of a trade war.

Inventories of USA crude fell by 4.617 million barrels for the week ended March 30, confounding expectations for a rise of 1.4 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) on Wednesday.

The Energy Information Administration said that commercial crude inventories fell by 4.6 million barrels during the week that ended March 30.

"The damage has been done on the Gulf Coast, where rocketing refinery runs - hark, above 9.1 million barrels per day - and low net imports have drawn down oil inventories by 7 million barrels", said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents to $63.50 a barrel. The EIA data also showed that American oil production rose to an unprecedented level of 10.5 million barrels a day last week, topping 10 million barrels a day for a ninth week.

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Oil rose toward $64 a barrel as investors received a reprieve from growing American crude stockpiles and on signs that trade tensions between the USA and China may ease.

Analysts had expected an increase of 246,000 barrels.

The strength of the USA dollar was a headwind for oil, said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

Global markets from equities to oil recovered after investor optimism grew that the USA and China will step back from the brink of a trade war.

Crude price outlook: Although concerns over geopolitical and trade spats will cap gains, a more optimistic sentiment this week should see Brent trade at US$68/b and WTI at US$64/b. OPEC oil output fell in March to an 11-month low due to declining Angolan exports, Libyan outages and a further slide in Venezuelan output, a Reuters survey found, sending compliance with a supply-cutting deal to another record. "So that basically means that if we don't export enough, prices are going to absolutely collapse", said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst at United-ICAP.

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