NEW YORK, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) - Oil prices advanced on Thursday as market sentiment was underpinned by a post-Brexit trade deal.
The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery added 11 cents to settle at 48.23 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for February delivery increased 9 cents to close at 51.29 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) on Thursday reached a deal on their post-Brexit trade relations. The pact came with only a week to go before the Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31, 2020.
Market participants also pored through the latest U.S. crude stockpiles data.
U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 0.6 million barrels during the week ending Dec. 18, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday.
According to the EIA report, total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 1.1 million barrels last week and were about 4 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week.