Brent oil prices hit a 2019 high above $72 a barrel on Wednesday, propelled by steady economic growth in China and a fall in US crude stocks which defied expectations and signalled firm demand, while global supply remained tight.
International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 20 cents, or 0.28 per cent, at $71.92 in intraday trade, having hit an intraday peak of $72.27.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.39 per barrel, up 34 cents or 0.53% and just shy of a 2019 high of $64.79 hit last week.
China's economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter, official data showed, defying expectations for a further slowdown and assuaging global markets as a US-China trade deal also appears near.
China's refinery throughput was up 3.2% in March year-over-year to 12.49 million barrels per day, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Prices have been supported this year by a pact reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day.
Global supply has been tightened further by US sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.