Oil prices advanced on Thursday despite data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed an unexpected build in crude supplies.
Inventories of U.S. crude rose by 3.803 million barrels for the week ended July 27, confounding expectations for a draw of 2.794 million barrels, according to data from the EIA.
The report came as imports rose by about 1.352 million barrels a day (bpd) and exports fell by 1.373 million bpd, the EIA said.
Gasoline inventories – one of the products that crude is refined into – fell by 2.536 million barrels, topping expectations for a draw of 1.288 million barrels, while supplies of distillate – the class of fuels that includes diesel and Heating Oil – rose by 2.983 million barrels, against expectations for a build of 0.264 million barrels.
Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery climbed0.09% to $67.72 per barrel at 1:01AM ET (05:01 GMT), while Brent Oil Futures for October delivery were also up 0.21% to $72.54 for one barrel.
Meanwhile, renewed trade concerns between the U.S. and China has put pressure on oil prices as the Trump administration considers another ramp up of the trade war with China.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said President Donald Trump is considering to impose a higher 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods because China refused to meet U.S. demands.
"The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens," Lighthizer said in a statement.
“Growth overall is still there, and while there are risks, it’s holding up. The big picture of a trade war and protectionism is that it is a slow death - a death by a thousand paper cuts instead of anything sudden and shocking,” Richard Kelly, head of global strategy at TD Securities, said in an interview with Reuters.