Oil Prices Rise To Session Highs As EIA Reports Drop In U.S. Gasoline Supplies

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures added to earlier gains on Wednesday after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a weekly increase in crude supplies, but also revealed bigger-than-expected declines in gasoline and distillate stockpiles for the week ended March 24. Crude inventories rose by 900,000 barrels to a weekly record 534 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a 1.9 million-barrel climb, according to sources, while analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a climb of 300,000 barrels. Gasoline supplies, however, dropped 3.7 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the EIA. May crude rose 63 cents, or 1.3%, to $49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was trading at $48.55 before the supply data.

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