Oil prices fell from a three-week high today on rising US crude inventories and probable tightening of Chinese policies.

The front-month contract retreated 18¢ to stand at $86.57 a barrel by 04.26 GMT and ICE Brent fell 11¢ to $88.76, after surpassing $89 on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

US crude oil inventories posted a gain of 1.1 million barrels last week, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

The EIA reported that US petrol stockpiles rose in line with forecasts last week, while distillate stocks fell by 200,000 barrels, with projections for a drop of 1.1 million barrels.

US East Coast petrol stocks fell 937,000 barrels last week, one of only two regions where supplies of the motor fuel declined, according to EIA data.