The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, said Tuesday that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 1.3 million barrels in the latest week, according to news reports. Oil futures gained ground in electronic trade after settling at a nearly 4-month low. September crude traded at $39.72 a barrel, up 0.5% from Tuesday's regular trading session close. The API data is watched as traders await official inventory data due Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration. A survey by The Wall Street Journal found analysts forecasting a 900,000 barrel decline in crude inventories and a 200,000 barrel drop in gasoline stocks.
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