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WTI & Brent have added ~$0.50 vs. settlement levels, aided by the larger than expected drawdowns in headline crude, gasoline & distillate inventories in the latest round of weekly API estimates, which were supplemented by a drawdown in stocks at the Cushing hub. A softer than expected round of Chinese economic data provided some headwinds for crude in Asia-Pac hours, resulting in fresh sessions lows, before a relatively swift bounce played out.
- This comes after crude finished at virtually unchanged levels on Tuesday. The size of China's sale of crude from its strategic reserves, slated for September 24, was smaller than many had feared (7.38mn bbl), although the spectre of further potential sales looms large.
- Elsewhere, restart issues surrounding crude production in the U.S. Gulf remain evident.
- Tuesday also saw confirmation that Russia's plan to lift crude production in September had gone into play, with output levels witnessed in the first couple of weeks of the month nudging higher vs. August's levels.
- The weekly DoE crude inventory data headlines on Wednesday.