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Oil Edges Higher After Recent Losses

Oil prices edged higher on Thursday after U.S. government data revealed that crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by 3.1 million barrels last week, compared to expectations for a drop of about 2.7 million barrels.

Benchmark Brent crude for September delivery climbed nearly 1 percent to $64.29 a barrel, after falling 1 percent on Wednesday and by 3 percent on Tuesday.

Likewise, U.S West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.8 percent at $57.23 a barrel, after declining 1.5 percent in the previous session.

While the EIA report showed a large drawdown, a sharp rise in U.S. stockpiles of products like gasoline pointed to weak demand during the summer driving season in the United States.

Much of the focus remains on Iran after Tehran denied it was willing to negotiate over its missile program.

Iran's foreign minister said the U.S. is waging war against his country through intensifying economic sanctions that make civilians "the primary targets."

He told CNN that his country "will never start a war" and that all parties should work to avoid one.

Meanwhile, as tensions mount between the West and Iran over the unravelling nuclear deal, Iran's state TV claimed that Revolutionary Guard forces have seized a foreign tanker with 12 crew accused of smuggling oil.

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