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Oil Prices Rise On Surprise Crude Draw

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after the release of API inventory report.

Benchmark Brent crude rose 56 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $44.17 a barrel, after having dropped 0.4 percent on Tuesday. U.S. oil futures were up 45 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $41.48 a barrel, after having fallen 1.4 percent in the previous session.

The American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday reported a draw in crude oil inventories of 6.8 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 357,000 barrels.

The report helped temporarily alleviate some concerns about ongoing demand distress amid record increases of coronavirus infections in the U.S. and elsewhere. U.S. government data is due later in the day.

A half-dozen U.S. states in the South and West reported their biggest one-day increase in coronavirus deaths Tuesday, fueling a bitter debate over the reopening of schools in the coming weeks.

Mainland China has reported 101 new cases of the novel coronavirus - the highest number in more than three and a half months.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warned that the city was on the brink of a large-scale outbreak and tightened lockdown measures.

Japan topped 1,000 Covid-19 cases for first time as Osaka and Aichi set daily records.

Investors await updates on a U.S. coronavirus relief bill and look ahead to a Federal Reserve meeting for clues on the outlook for monetary policy.

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