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Crude jumps up on upbeat U.S. inventory report, Ukraine unease

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Shutterstock photo - - Crude futures rose on Wednesday on an upbeat U.S. inventory report as well as concerns that the Ukraine crisis could threaten oil shipments out of Russia.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June traded at $102.27 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.56%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $101.82 a barrel and a high of $102.64 a barrel.

The June contract settled up 1.10% at $101.70a barrel on Tuesday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $99.76 a barrel, Friday's low, and resistance at $103.82 a barrel, the high from April 21.

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 ending May 9, defying expectations for a decline of 100,000 barrels.

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

Still, markets applauded the report due to data revealing a 592,000-barrel draw at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, a sign bottlenecks may be loosening.

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.

Upbeat wholesale pricing data supported the growth-sensitive commodity as well.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that producer prices increased by 0.6% last month, beating forecasts for a 0.2% gain, after rising 0.5% in March.

Year-over-year, the producer price index rose 2.1% in April, beating expectations for a 1.7% increase and up from 1.4% in the preceding month.

The core producer price index, which is stripped of volatile food and energy items, 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.

Markets 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 and possibly crimp Russian exports.

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.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for July delivery were up 0.70% and trading at US$109.30 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$7.03 a barrel. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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