NEW YORK, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices climbed on Wednesday after data showed a hefty drop in U.S. crude inventories.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery gained 91 cents to settle at 41.20 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery was up 89 cents to close at 43.79 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
U.S. crude oil inventories decreased 7.5 million barrels during the week ending July 10, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a decline of 2.1 million barrels.
A weaker U.S. dollar and benign stock markets amid hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine would soon be available were also lending support, Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.18 percent at 96.0879 in late trading on Wednesday, while U.S. stocks closed higher with the Dow up more than 200 points.