* U.S. crude inventories fall by 7.2 mln barrels – API
* Official EIA figures due later on Wednesday
* Graphic on inventories: https://tmsnrt.rs/2ZYH9NT (Recasts, updates throughout, changes dateline from TOKYO)
LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Wednesday after a reported drop in U.S. crude stocks, reversing the previous session’s losses sparked by the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump’s hawkish adviser on national security.
Brent crude futures gained 48 cents, or 0.8%, to $62.86 a barrel by 0808 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate futures were up 44 cents, or 0.8%, at $57.84 a barrel.
Oil prices have risen more than 7% this month, supported by declines in global inventories and signs of an easing in trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies and energy consumers.
Prices had ended lower on Tuesday on speculation that sanctions-hit Iran could revive its crude exports after Trump adviser John Bolton, an Iran policy hawk, left his post.
But they rebounded after data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) late on Tuesday showed U.S. crude stocks fell last week by 7.2 million barrels, more than twice the amount analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast.
Gasoline stocks also fell sharply, while distillate inventories increased, the API said.
“The API report is quite constructive for the oil market as it points to a tightening domestic oil market in the face of flat production and stronger demand,” Dutch bank ING said in a note.
Official inventory numbers will be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday.
Prices rose earlier this week after Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister, said the kingdom’s oil policy would not change and a deal with other producers to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day would be maintained.
Iran’s oil exports were slashed by more than 80% due to re-imposed sanctions by the United States after Trump last year exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Dale Hudson)