SYDNEY: Oil prices edged down on Thursday despite a surprise decline in US inventories, with international benchmark Brent retreating from a five-month high touched in the previous session.

Brent crude futures were at $71.51 a barrel at 0056 GMT, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. Brent fell 0.1 percent on Wednesday, after earlier touching its highest since Nov. 8 at $72.27 a barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.67 per barrel, down 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their previous settlement. WTI closed the last session down 0.5 percent.

“Prices are soft despite a surprise drawdown in US inventories," ANZ Bank said in a research note.

US crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 1.7 million barrels.

Net US crude imports last week dropped by 659,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Copyright Reuters, 2019