Oil Ticks Higher On API's Reported Crude Inventory Drop

By Wallace Witkowski Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday a larger than expected drawdown of U.S. crude oil supplies for the week ended Dec. 16. API said U.S. crude supplies declined by just under 4.2 million barrels, according to sources. Analysts and traders forecast a stockpile decline of 2.4 million barrels, on average. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. February crude , the most active contract, rose to $53.59 a barrel in electronic trading, up from the contract's settlement of $52.30 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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