Oil prices plunge as drop in US inventories encourage more production

Oil prices rose to near eight-week highs on Wednesday, as a fall in US inventories bolstered expectations that the long-oversupplied market was moving toward balance. Brent crude futures rose 40 cents to $50.60 a barrel by 1213 GMT, after rallying more than 3 percent on Tuesday. U.S.

West Texas Intermediate futures climbed 50 cents to $48.39 a barrel. U.S. crude stockpiles fell sharply last week as refineries boosted output, while gasoline inventories increased and distillate stocks decreased, the industry group the American.

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