The American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday reported a 884,000 barrel decline in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended Feb. 17, according to sources. Analysts and traders polled by The Wall Street Journal expected a consensus gain of 3.4 million barrels. API also reported a decline of 893,000 barrels of gasoline and a 4.3 million barrel decline in distillates. Analysts expected a decline in gasoline stockpiles of 1.2 million barrels and a decline of distillates of 400,000 barrels. The API report precedes the more closely watched Energy Information Administration report on Thursday. After the report, crude oil for April delivery rose to $53.90 a barrel in electronic trading, following a day in which crude futures snapped a three-session winning streak to settle at $53.59 a barrel.
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