Crude oil prices retained gains into Asia on Thursday on robust U.S. demand propsects.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in October traded at $93.62 a barrel, up 0.18%, after hitting an overnight session low of $92.74 a barrel and a high of $93.57 a barrel.

Brent oil prices rose 0.7% to $102.28 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe Wednesday.

Overnight, oil prices rose after a weekly U.S. supply report revealed that inventories dropped more than expected.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories declined by 4.5 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 15, far surpassing expectations for a decline of 1.2 million barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 362.5 million barrels as of last week.

The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.6 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 1.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.0 million barrels.

The data painted a picture of a more robust U.S. economy, one that will consume more fuel and energy going forward.

Upbeat U.S. data released this week supported crude prices as well.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued in July jumped 8.1% to 1.052 million units from June’s total of 973,000. Analysts expected building permits to rise by 2.5% to 1.0 million units in July.

The reported also showed that U.S. housing starts soared by 15.7% last month to hit 1.093 million units from June’s total of 945,000, far past expectations for an increase of 8.6% to 969,000 units.

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