Oil prices advance as U.S. inventories drop

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NEW YORK, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell considerably last week.

The West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rose 1.49 U.S. dollars to settle at 39.15 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery increased 1.52 dollars to close at 41.23 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 8.0 million barrels during the week ending Oct. 30, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday. On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a weekly decrease of 600,000 barrels for the EIA data.

Prices were also supported by optimistic signals from OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) that the voluntary production cuts could be extended beyond the end of the year.

Meanwhile, market participants are watchfully tracking election-related news as the U.S. vote counting continues.

"A knife-edge election result and possible rounds of mud-slinging in U.S. courts could hardly be worse news for markets because of the uncertainty that this would generate," Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Wednesday.

"In this kind of situation, the market's focus would probably be distracted considerably by short-term political news, with the result that fundamental data would be virtually ignored," he added. Enditem

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