U.S. oil futures remain above $102 a barrel after supply data

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Investing.com - U.S. oil futures remained higher, albeit off the best levels of the session on Wednesday, after a U.S. government report showed that oil supplies rose unexpectedly last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in June advanced 0.56%, or 57 cents, to trade at $102.27 a barrel during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at $102.35 a barrel prior to the release of the supply data.

Nymex oil hit a session high of $102.39 a barrel earlier in the day, the most since April 29. U.S. oil futures added 1.1%, or $1.11, on Tuesday to settle at $101.70 a barrel.

New York-traded oil futures were likely to find support at $100.36 a barrel, the low from May 13 and resistance at $103.57 a barrel, the high from April 22.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 947,000 barrels in the week ended May 9, compared to expectations for a decline of 100,000 barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 398.5 million barrels as of last week.

The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 772,000 barrels, compared to forecasts for a gain of 143,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles decreased by 1.1 million barrels, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.6 million barrels.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said that producer prices in the U.S. increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.6% last month, above forecasts for a 0.2% gain, after rising 0.5% in March.

Year-over-year, the producer price index rose at an annualized rate of 2.1% in April, above expectations for a 1.7% increase and up from 1.4% in the preceding month.

The core producer price index advanced 0.5% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% increase, after rising 0.6% in March.

Core produces prices rose at an annualized rate of 1.9% in April, beating forecasts for a 1.4% gain and after climbing 1.4% in the preceding month.

Core prices are viewed by the Federal Reserve as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for July delivery inched up 0.43%, or 47 cents, to trade at $109.01 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $6.74 a barrel.

Oil traders continued to monitor events in Ukraine, as conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces continued to escalate, stoking fears that the crisis will develop and drag the U.S. deeper into the standoff.

Russia produced 10.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2012 and exported 7.4 million, making it the world's second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.

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