Investing.com - Oil prices rose in early afternoon trading on
Wednesday, buoyed by news that U.S. supplies fell more than
expected last week, though uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's
looming policy announcement due out later in the session capped
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for
delivery in February traded at USD97.63 a barrel during U.S.
trading, up 0.16%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD97.31 and a high of USD98.26.
The February contract settled down 0.31% at USD97.47 a barrel on
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD96.53 a barrel,
Monday's low, and resistance at USD98.75 a barrel, the high from
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its weekly
report earlier that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 2.9 million
barrels in the week ended Dec. 13, beating expectations for a
decline of 2.3 million barrels.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 372.3 million barrels as
of last week, and the data sent prices gaining by stoking
sentiments that demand for fuel and energy in the U.S. may be
heavier than once anticipated
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories
increased by 1.3 million barrels, short of expectations for a gain
of 1.9 million barrels.
Solid data out of the U.S. housing sector boosted oil prices as
The Census Bureau reported earlier U.S. housing starts rose to 1.09
million units last month, from 890,000 in October, beating
consensus forecasts for an increase to 950,000 units.
Building permits in the U.S. fell 3.1% to 1.01 million units in
November, from 1.04 million units the previous month.
Still, analysts were expecting building permits to drop 4.7% last
Gains were limited ahead of the Federal Reserve's announcement on
monetary policy, especially on its plans to taper or let stand its
USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
The Fed's monthly asset-purchasing program, now 15 months old, aims
to spur recovery by driving down interest rates, weakening the
dollar in the process.
A weaker greenback makes oil a more attractive commodity on
Meanwhile on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for
February delivery were up 0.86% at USD109.38 a barrel, up USD11.75
from its U.S. counterpart.
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