SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Global oil prices recovered in Asian trade Wednesday but remained below $72 a barrel ahead of a crucial US oil inventories report due later today.

Light sweet crude for October delivery was seen trading at $71.81 a barrel at 11.30 a.m Singapore time while Brent crude was at $72.41 a barrel in London.

Analysts said the black gold regained some of its losses in Asia as it bounced from a seven-week low as investors looked for relief in U.S. durable goods and oil inventory reports due later in the day.

On Tuesday, Oil slid 2 percent on news that sales of previously owned U.S. homes dropped by a record 27.2 percent in July, sending global equities to one-month lows.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October delivery, dropped $1.47 to $71.63 per barrel - the lowest since June 7.

London's Brent North Sea crude for October was down $1.24 at $72.38 a barrel.

U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell last week, an industry report showed late on Tuesday, raising some hope that government statistics due later today would show an improvement in oil demand by the world's largest user.

U.S. crude stocks posted a surprise drop of 1.8 million barrels in the week ended Aug 20, according to a weekly report from the American Petroleum Institute.

The declines also came ahead of Wednesday's US oil inventories report, which are expected to show that crude oil and distillates stockpiles grew last week but that gasoline inventories fell by nearly a million barrels in the period.