Brent crude prices rose above $50 a barrel in early Asia trade Thursday, as a recent decline in US crude stocks raised expectations for a tightening in the market.
Brent LCOc1 had climbed 34 cents to $50.08 a barrel, its highest since November 4. It ended the previous session up $1.13, or 2.3%. US crude futures CLc1 rose 31 cents to their strongest since October 12 at $49.87 a barrel, after settling the last session 94 cents higher.
The US Energy Information Administration said US crude stockpiles fell 4.2 million barrels to 537.1 million in the week to May 20, the ; Analysts had expected a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.