Moreover, the report also showed that US crude production fell by just 11,000 barrels per day, keeping output above 9.3 million barrels per day.
Stephen Schork, an independent analyst and trader, said the gains of the past two days don’t mark the beginning of a recovery in oil prices because demand will decrease once the summer is over.
Both WTI and Brent today closed up 10.3 per cent, after hovering around six-and-a-half year lows all week on concerns about China’s faltering economy.
Concern that China’s policy makers are struggling to prevent a hard landing in the world’s second-largest economy has convulsed global markets, triggering a rush from all but the safest of assets.
Brent for October settlement gained as much as 63 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to US$43.77 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. US crude was 37c higher at $42.93 a barrel, after ending up $3.96 at $42.56 a barrel.
In a note on Friday, ANZ said “A short covering rally, led by crude oil pushed commodities higher across the board”.
China cut interest rates on Tuesday and lowered the reserves banks must hold in its latest move to calm fears about a severe economic slowdown in a country whose major equities index, the Shanghai Composite Index, is now 43 per cent below the June peak for the year. US GDP (gross domestic product) boosted at an annualized rate of 3.7 percent in the second quarter.
The numbers signalled healthy demand in the world’s top crude consumer ahead of the more closely watched official stockpiles report from the US Energy Information Administration later Wednesday.
However, an unexpected fall in US crude oil inventories kept futures of the commodity in the green on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday.
A number of market watchers say prices could start falling again soon, because the global glut of oil that sent prices plunging past year is likely to persist at least through the end of 2015. A Reuters poll forecast stockpiles rose a million barrels last week, adding to the previous week’s 2.6 million-barrel build.
Venezuela has been contacting other members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), pushing for an emergency meeting with Russian Federation to come up with a plan to stop the global oil price rout, the Wall Street Journal reported.