Oil Futures Extend Gains After Large Fall In Crude Inventories

By William L. WattsMarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures extended gains Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected drop in crude inventories. The agency said U.S. crude supplies in storage fell by 4.9 million barrels in the week ended April 1. Analysts surveyed by energy data firm Platts had forecast an inventory rise of 2.9 million barrels, while data released late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, reportedly showed a fall of 4.3 million barrels. May WTI oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were up $1.13, or 3.1%, at $37.02 a barrel after trading near $36.20 ahead of the data.

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