Brent crude oil prices made small gains Thursday over progress in talks on the US coronavirus relief package.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $42.54 per barrel at 0610GMT for a 0.57% increase after closing Wednesday at $42.30 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $40.16 per barrel at the same time, down 0.15% after ending the previous session at $40.22 a barrel.
Oil markets were focused on the outcome of the long-awaited $2.2 trillion US coronavirus relief package. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke of the progress made in talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the stimulus bill on Tuesday.
Prices were also supported after data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell by 2 million barrels last week relative to the market expectation of a 1.4 million-barrel rise.
Concerns over oil demand due to the global increase in COVID-19 cases continue to suppress prices. The number of deaths from the coronavirus is now over 1 million while the number of global cases is close to 34 million.
By Sibel Morrow