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With US crude production still rising and crude inventories also building, the host of bearish factors is likely to weigh on traders' minds; however, the API reported that overall crude inventories declined by 3.28 million barrels last week, which has lifted prices slightly. In addition, the pressure on trade is also exerting tension on the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

"Equities have been the most significant external driver for the short-term price direction of oil, with the significant volatility coming (partly) from the perception of a trade war", said Dominic Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in NY.

The strength of the US dollar was a headwind for oil, said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was up just 0.04 percent as of 9:16 a.m. EST to $68.05 per barrel.

Hitting back on the Trump administration's plan to levy tariffs on $50 billion-worth of its goods, China proposed duties on United States imports including soybeans, aircraft, cars and chemicals.

The success of "Cleveland" and "Houston" misfire "Golden State"
Westbrook scored 18 in the first half to help the Thunder stay in the game. "I thought our guys responded well to the challenge". The leader of the "Warriors" Kevin Durant made 15 mistakes with the game and ended the match with the index of usefulness "-17".

Amit Shah meets party's legislators from Maharashtra
The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude towards fellow countrymen for electing the BJP. In 10 days, Modi chose to send our jawans to Pakistan for a surgical strike.

Jack Nicklaus' grandson aces final hole of Masters par-three contest
We talked three days ago and I asked [G.T.], 'Do you want to hit a ball on No. 9?' I said, 'You're going to make a hole-in-one. Watson, 68, previously won the Par 3 Contest in 1982 and becomes the oldest victor in the tournament's history.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.1 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 1.3 million barrels drop. That would be the biggest drop since January if confirmed by the Energy Information Administration's data on Wednesday.

Crude oil prices lacked clear direction in early Thursday trading as markets balanced between declining USA inventories and potential trade war fears. The extent to which it counterbalance output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will be critical, said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford.

The active USA rig count unexpectedly declined by 2 last week, with a 7 site drop in oil rigs, bringing the overall total to 979 sites.

Gasoline inventories fell in the reporting period by 1.1 million barrels, after a weekly draw of 3.5 million barrels in the prior week, and distillate stockpiles moved higher by 500,000 barrels.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers are still committed to cut output by 1.8M barrels per day this year.


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