Tokyo — Oil prices fell on Wednesday after data showed a surprise rise in US crude stockpiles and Chinese industrial output for April grew less than expected, but prices were supported by mounting tension in the Middle East. Brent crude futures were at $71.04 a barrel at 3.58am GMT, down 20c, or 0.3%, from their last close. Brent closed 1.4% higher on Tuesday. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.38 a barrel, down 40c, or 0.7%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed up 1.2% in the previous session. US crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, while petrol and distillate inventories increased, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday. Crude inventories rose by 8.6-million barrels in the week to May 10 to 477.8-million, compared with analysts’ expectations of a decrease of 800,000 barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 2.1-million barrels, API said. The US energy department’s Energy In...

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