Oil prices jump 5 percent after surprise U.S. crude stockpile draw

Oil prices rose 5 percent on Wednesday, their biggest advance in three weeks, after the U.S. government reported a surprise draw in domestic crude stockpiles versus market expectations for a new record high.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting indicating no rate hikes in April also weakened the U.S. currency, making dollar-denominated oil more attractive to those holding the euro and other currencies.

After hitting one-month lows a day earlier, oil prices rallied by as much as $2 a barrel after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude stockpiles dropped by 4.9 million barrels last week from lower imports and a continued ramp up in refinery runs.

 

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