US oil hits seven month high as both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude trade around $50 a barrel

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Oil prices rose on news that stocks are down (Source: Getty)

US oil hit its highest price in over seven months this morning, rising to as much as $49.35 in early trading, after industry data pointed to a larger-than-expected drop in US crude inventories last week.

Brent crude was also up, hitting a high of $49.26.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed that US crude stocks dropped by 5.1m barrels to 536.8m - double the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters.

Inventories were hit by falling imports due to wildfires in Canada, which led to a loss of about 1.5m barrels a day in production, according to OptionsXpress analyst Ben Le Brun.

The oil price could surge past the $50 mark if the data is confirmed when the US Energy Information Administration issues its official inventory figures today.

"Technically, the market is gearing up for WTI to go above $50 a barrel and it is intriguing on where it goes from there," said Le Brun.

"I think the cap is not too far above that level - the world is still awash with oil even if it is off the peaks."

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