By Elizabeth Low and Grant Smith
WTI for November delivery advanced 57 cents to $54.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:44 a.m. local time. It rose 1.1% on Thursday. This week’s loss has been trimmed to 0.4%.
Brent crude for December settlement gained 24 cents to $60.15 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe, paring its weekly drop to 0.6%. The global benchmark was at a premium of $5.57 to WTI for the same month.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 9.3 million barrels in the week through Oct. 11, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, surpassing analyst estimates of a 3 million-barrel increase. Yet gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.6 million barrels, the most since August, and distillate stores shrank by 3.8 million barrels.
“The inventory build was significantly more pronounced than expected,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt.
China’s gross domestic product figures trailed estimates and added to a deteriorating global demand outlook for crude. With a drop-off in exports to the U.S. expected to continue due to the trade war, the Chinese economy is likely to keep struggling as deflationary pressures hit company profits.
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