Crude oil prices are stuck in the middle of a tighter market and fears of a sweeping trade war between the United States and China, the world’s largest economies. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI April 5 (UPI) — Crude oil prices lacked clear direction in early Thursday trading as markets balanced between declining U.S. inventories and potential trade war fears. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude oil inventories declined by more than 4.5 million barrels, beating the estimates from S&P Global Platts and the American Petroleum Institute. A market surplus helped pull crude oil prices below $30 per barrel, though Platts said this week the U.S. sector was more or less balanced. EIA data show that U.S. crude oil inventories are at the lower end of the average for this time of year, but gasoline inventories are at the upper limit of the average range. […]