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Crude Oil Futures Settle Higher As Inventories Drop

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, supported by data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended April 2.

Despite optimism about growth, oil futures could not move significantly higher as worries about rising coronavirus cases and reports about the extension of lockdown measures in several places across the world raised worries about the outlook for energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.44 or about 0.7% at $59.77 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were up $0.23 or 0.36% at $62.97 a little while ago.

Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed U.S. crude inventories dropped by 3.52 million barrels in the week ended April 2 compared with expectations for a draw of about 1.44 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories were up 4.04 million barrels last week, much more than an expected 221,000-barrel draw.

Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles were up 1.452 million barrels versus expectations for a build of 486,000 barrels, the EIA data showed.

Traders were also following news about talks to revive a nuclear deal with Iran opening the possibility of an easing of sanctions on its oil exports.

Iran said talks in Vienna on Tuesday aimed at restoring its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers had been "constructive" and they will continue to discuss ways to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday.

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