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Oil prices sharply pare gains after surging on big drop in US stockpiles

Oil prices sharply pared gains after rising about 2 percent on Thursday after U.S. data showed crude oil and gasoline stocks dropped more than expected.

Brent crude futures were up 11 cents at $47.90 per barrel by 1:52 p.m. ET (1752 GMT), after earlier rising to $49.18. They tumbled 3.7 percent on Wednesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 17 cents at $45.30 per barrel, off a session high of $46.53. The contract plunged about 4 percent in the previous session.

U.S. crude stocks fell 6.3 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, citing stronger refining activity and reduced imports. That was much more than the draw of about 2.3 million barrels analysts had forecast.

"Inventories were better than the market anticipated and were seeing gains...


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