07.09.201806:57:00UTC+00Oil Holds Steady After Inventory Data

Oil prices held steady on Friday after the latest inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) proved to be a mixed bag.

Brent crude futures were marginally lower at $76.47 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were higher by 3 cents at $67.80 a barrel.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels to 401.49 million barrels in the week to Aug. 31, the lowest since February 2015, the EIA report released on Thursday showed.

At the same time, gasoline stocks rose 1.8 million barrels, and distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, climbed by 3.1 million barrels.

Investors are bracing for an escalation of the tit-for-tat trade war between the world's two largest economies after a public comment period ended Thursday.

China has already warned of retaliation if the U.S. goes ahead with the fresh round of tariffs.

The threat of auto tariffs is also back on the agenda as media reports suggest that Japan may be the next target of U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war.

Trump reportedly told a columnist for The Wall Street Journal that he was "still bothered by the terms of U.S. trade with Japan."

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