September crude oil traded higher during the overnight and early morning hours, supported by yesterday's surprisingly large EIA inventory draw and a positive shift in the outside market tone. Some traders pointed to a slight easing in European bank sector fears earlier this morning that lifted global stock indices and fostered a risk-on mentality. However, crude oil demand uncertainty remains a key issue and is closely tied to outside market sentiment. September crude oil rallied on yesterday's EIA data that showed stocks falling by 5.225 million barrels, contrary to expectations for a 1.50 million barrel build. This large draw came in the wake of a significant 1.37 million barrel decline in Cushing, Oklahoma supplies, which brought them to a little more than 3.0 million barrels below year-ago levels. Total US crude supplies stand 5.242 million barrels below year ago levels, but 15.79 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports slipped on the week to a rate of 9.1 million barrels per day compared to 9.134 million the previous week. The refinery operating rate was 90.0%, up 0.7% from last week. This compares to 88.1% last year and the five year average of 88.16%.