September crude oil prices traded higher during the initial morning hours, supported by weakness in the US dollar and a rally across global risk assets. Better than expected corporate earnings in the US and Europe and an improvement in US economic data bolstered hopes that the economy could be on the mend. This is seen providing a boost in global oil demand. Another source of support for the crude oil market comes from a pickup in the geopolitical risk, amid Syrian violence as well as bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Yesterday's EIA inventory data showed US crude oil stocks falling 809,000 barrels last week, which was in line with expectations. EIA crude stocks are 25.662 million barrels above year ago levels and 38.545 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 8.937 million barrels per day compared to 8.626 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was down 0.7% to 92.0%, which compares to 90.3% last year and the five year average of 89.29%.