Oil prices advanced to nearly $75 a barrel in Asia after a report showed that U.S. crude oil inventories dropped more than forecast, suggesting improved demand.

Benchmark oil for delivery in October rose 32 cents to $74.99 a barrel late Thursday afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. That was a greater fall than the 730,000-barrel drop forecast by analysts surveyed by Platts.

Still, U.S. oil supplies are at a 30-year high, according to energy consultancy Cameron Hanover.



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