Oil prices rose on Thursday after weekly U.S. crude oil inventories posted a surprise fall offering a glimmer of hope that the oil glut might start to abate. Prices have dropped sharply in July as persistently high U.S. production, coupled with record output from other major suppliers like Saudi Arabia , met worries about slowing demand exacerbated by this month’s massive selloff in Chinese equities . Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.7% to $53.77 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.2% at $48.87 a barrel. Both contracts are still off more than 20% since their peaks earlier in the spring. On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 4.2 million barrels last week defying analysts’ expectations of no change. U.S. oil production also fell, by 145,000 barrels […]