Oil rises more than 1% on smaller-than-expected rise in crude stocks

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Oil prices rose more than 1% on Thursday, recouping losses from the previous day on a smaller-than-expected rise in crude oil inventories in the United States, although the gains were capped by uncertainties over cuts by major oil producers.

Brent crude rose by 78 cents, or 1.5%, to $51.91 per barrel by 0202 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up by 69 cents, or 1.5%, at $47.47 per barrel.

Supporting oil prices, U.S. crude stocks rose modestly in the latest week, while U.S. oil exports surged to more than 4 million barrels a day for the first time since December, suggesting a rise in overseas demand.

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East also boosted prices. Still, the global spread of the coronavirus has crushed hopes for stronger growth this year and will hold 2020 global output gains to their slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday.

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