Oil hits nine-month high on U.S. crude stock draw
Oil prices hit a nine-month high on Thursday after U.S. crude inventories fell last week, while progress in a U.S. stimulus deal and higher Asian demand supported prices.
Brent crude futures climbed 0.9%, or 45 cents, at $51.53 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 1%, or 46 cents, at $48.28 per barrel. Both contracts hit their strongest levels since early March.
U.S. crude stockpile dropped by 3.1 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 11, contrary to analysts’ expectations for a 1.9-million-barrel drop.
Also supporting prices, U.S. lawmakers made progress in a $900 billion coronavirus relief package on Wednesday. The United States also expanded its COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the frontliners of the pandemic.