Oil prices in the U.S. market ended up nearly 5 percent and closed above 72 U.S. dollars a barrel on Wednesday as a government report showed U.S. crude inventories dropped sharply, which may indicate positive signs of economic recovery.
Oil prices rose immediately after the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that crude stockpiles plunged by 8.4 million barrels in the week that ended on Aug. 14, beating analysts' prediction for a build.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 3.23 dollars, or4.7 percent, to settle at 72.42 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In London, Brent Crude for October delivery added 2.06 dollars to 74.43 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.
Meanwhile, according to the latest report, gasoline inventories dropped by 2.1 million barrels, also larger than expected.
Further support came as Wall Street moved to positive territory after the release of the inventory data and the U.S. dollar continued its falling trend against the euro and other major currencies.
Wall Street rebounded on Wednesday as higher oil prices lifted energy shares.