Oil prices hit a nine-month high early on Thursday after US government data showed that crude stockpiles fell last week, Report says, citing Prime.

Brent crude futures rose by 0.9% to $51.54 a barrel at 0116 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by or 1 02 % to $48.31 a barrel.

US crude inventories fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 11, the Energy Information Administration said. It was more than analysts’ expectations of a 1.9-million-barrel drop after stockpiles surged in last week’s data.

“US production also fell … the first time since late October,” ANZ analysts said in a note on Thursday.

The Fed already had committed to not raising rates until inflation exceeds its 2% goal even if unemployment comes down to levels that generally had signaled price pressures. Changing the language around the asset purchases underlines the central bank’s commitment to seeing the recovery through its coronavirus-era slump.