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Brent crude pushes above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016

Brent crude pushes above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016

Oil market

Brent oil futures climbed above $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time in nearly seven months.

This comes after US government figures showed a sharper than expected draw down in crude stocks last week.

Futures rose as much as 0.8 percent in London to the highest price since November 4 after climbing 2.9 percent the previous two sessions.

US inventories slid by 4.23 million barrels last week, exceeding an expected drop of 2 million, Blomberg reports.

Attacks in Nigeria have cut productions to a 20 year low and Venezuela is struggling to maintain output amid power cuts, while producers in Canada are beginning to restart oil sands operations halted by wildfires.

Brent has surged about 80 percent since dropping to the lowest since 2003 in January on signs the global oversupply will ease.

A meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected before a ministerial meeting next week, but has not included discussions on limiting output.

OPEC is expected to stick with its strategy of defending market share.

In July, Brent settlement climbed as much as 40 cents to $50.14 a barrel on the London based ICE futures Europe exchange and was at $50.10 at 1.55 pm Hong Kong time.

US crude production dropped for an 11th week to 8.77 million barrels a day, the lowest level since September 2014.