Oil Futures Trim Gains After Weekly U.S. Inventory Data

By William L. WattsMarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures trimmed gains Wednesday after weekly data showed a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. crude inventories but an unexpected rise in gasoline stocks. The Energy Information Administration said oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose by 252,000 barrels to 483.7 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 13. Economists surveyed by oil-information firm Platts had produced a consensus estimate for a rise of 1.1 million barrels. Gasoline stocks, meanwhile, rose by around 1 million barrels versus a forecast for a drop of 1.2 million barrels. Nymex December crude was up 32 cents at $40.99 a barrel after initially erasing gains in the wake of the data. The contract traded as high as $41.55 in earlier action. December gasoline also trimmed gains but remained up 1.75 cents, or 1.4%, at $1.2555 a gallon.

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