U.S. crude futures edged up towards $107 a barrel in early Asian trade on optimism over U.S. oil exports after Washington approved exports of lightly refined oil, although gains were capped by an unexpected rise in crude inventories.
U.S. crude for August delivery rose 18 cents to $106.68 a barrel by 0053 GMT, after gaining 47 cents to close at $106.50 in the previous session. Brent futures for August delivery climbed 20 cents to $114.20, reversing losses in the previous session when Brent fell 46 cents to $114.00 a barrel.
U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly grew by 1.7 million barrels last week to 388.1 million barrels, data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Analysts had expected a 1.6 million barrel decrease.