USA crude oil inventories decrease in past week

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The direction of the crude oil market on Wednesday will be determined by the U.S. Energy Information Administration's inventories report.

The trade spat between the USA and China has also been escalating, with China replying with tariffs on some US$50 billions of U.S. imports after the White House announced more tariffs on Chinese products last week; the potential trade war has been rattling financial markets, especially in Asia.

Prices pared losses after the Energy Information Administration released data showing USA crude inventories USOILC=ECI fell by 4.6 million barrels in the latest week.

ADP said employment surged up by 241,000 jobs in March after jumping by an upwardly revised 246,000 jobs in February.

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Both Brent and USA crude slid to two-week lows after China, the world's largest importer of raw materials, hit back at the Trump administration's plan to levy tariffs on $50 billion (35.5 billion pounds) of its goods, proposing duties on a broad range of US imports.

Crude oil futures fell 0.38 percent to $63.30 a barrel by 8:36 GMT.

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery climbed as much as 42 cents to $63.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded at $63.59 at 7:34 London.

Output from the 14 members of OPEC dropped to 32.04 million barrels a day in March, the lowest since last April, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Traders were looking for a draw of 1.26 million barrels.

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Rising U.S. oil output is being overshadowed by geopolitical concerns, however, particularly the uncertainty over the U.S. position on whether to continue to waive sanctions against Iran, due for review in May.

Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 847,000 barrels per day. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 537,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 1.1 million barrels drop.

Crude oil futures rose slightly Thursday, staying in a narrow trading range amid conflicting reports about OPEC's suply quota plans. Though Baker Hughes last Friday reported a lower rig count, which had a positive effect on prices, the fluctuations in the rig count don't have a lot to do with well productivity these days.

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