Crude oil futures ticked up during midmorning trade in Asia on Dec. 30 as bullish data from the American Petroleum Institute boosted market sentiment, even as new cases of the mutant coronavirus strain surfaced around the world.  At 10:59 am Singapore time (0259 GMT), the ICE February Brent futures contract was up 19 cents/b (0.37%) from the Dec. 29 settle at $51.28/b while the NYMEX February light sweet crude contract was up 30 cents/b (0.62%) at $48.30/b. Both markers had risen 0.45% and 0.80% on Dec. 29. The API data showed a 4.785 million-barrel draw in US crude inventories for the week ended Dec. 25. This was larger than the 3.8 million-barrel draw predicted by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. “Oil prices have remained supported by a weaker US dollar […]