Oil futures modestly extended gains after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said total gasoline inventories fell 4.3 million barrels in the week ended March 27 to 229.1 million. Oil inventories, meanwhile, rose by 4.8 million barrels to 1.1624 billion. While rising crude-oil inventories have been a weight on the market, the drawdown in gasoline inventories is helping to ease worries about supply constraints, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. The decline is seen as a sign demand for crude may be more robust as refiners end their seasonal maintenance period, he said. Nymex WTI crude for May delivery ws up $1.40 at $49 a barrel, versus $47.95 ahead of report. Nymex May reformulated gasoline was up 4.34 cents, or 2.5%, at $1.8143 a gallon.
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