The U.S. crude-oil benchmark bounced back from a dip below the $40-a-barrel level to end with a small gain Wednesday. Nymex December crude settled 8 cents higher at $40.75 a barrel. Oil had slumped in earlier activity after a rise in crude-oil inventories, including a large increase at the Nymex delivery point in Cushing, Okla. Futures pushed higher after minutes from the Federal Reserve's October meeting showed most members thought conditions for a rate hike could be met by the time policy makers meet again in December.
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