Oil prices rose by almost 2% today aided by a drop in US crude inventories and strong economic data.

For July delivery, US crude rose $1.15 to stand at $74.01 a barrel at 08.52 GMT, while London Brent gained 9¢ to $74.74 a barrel, according to Reuters.

Strong US housing data and good auto-sales growth have helped boost equities in Asia and Europe, lending more support to oil.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute reveals US crude stockpiles fell by 1.4 million barrels last week while petrol stocks dropped by 962,000 barrels and distillates gained 852,000 barrels.