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Crude oil holds on to gains after mixed U.S. inventory data

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Forexpros - Crude oil futures held on to gains on Wednesday, trading close to a four-day high after a government report showed a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude supplies last week, while gasoline inventories rose unexpectedly.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD85.61 a barrel during U.S. morning trade, climbing 0.2%.

It earlier rose as much as 0.55% to trade at USD86.56 a barrel, the highest price since August 18.

The contract traded at USD85.52 prior to the release of the Energy Information Administration data.

The U.S. EIA said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories declined by 2.2 million barrels in the week ended August 19, confounding expectations for a 0.8 million barrel increase.

U.S. crude supplies rose by 4.2 million barrels in the preceding week.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 351.8 million barrels as of last week, remaining above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels, after falling by 3.5 million barrels in the preceding week and disappointing expectations for a 1.0 million barrel drawdown.

Energy traders have been closely eyeing gasoline stockpiles in recent weeks to gauge the strength of U.S. demand, as the U.S. driving season is currently in the period of peak gasoline demand.

Meanwhile, markets continued to look ahead to Friday's speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for any hints regarding fresh stimulus measures.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for October delivery slipped 0.15% to trade at USD109.89 a barrel, up USD24.28 on its U.S. counterpart.

Markets were expected to monitor developments in Libya in order to asses how quickly oil production in the country would return to pre-war levels.

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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.


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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