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Oil rises on U.S. crude stock drawdown

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Oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Wednesday as industry data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 67 cents, or 0.7%, to $95.65 a barrel by 0009 GMT.

Brent crude futures rose 33 cents, or 0.3%, to $104.73 a barrel.

After settlement on Tuesday, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said crude stocks in the United States fell by 4 million barrels last week.

That is four times the 1 million barrel decline expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

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Gasoline inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels compared with expectations of a build of 3.5 million barrels, the API data showed.

The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration releases its weekly oil report later on Wednesday.

Prices were also lifted by expectations of a tighter gas squeeze in Europe from Wednesday after Russia’s Gazprom said it would cut flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of capacity.

European Union countries on Tuesday approved a weakened emergency plan to curb demand, after striking compromise deals to limit reductions for some countries. (Reporting by Laura Sanicola; editing by Richard Pullin)

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