Oil Maintains Strong Gains As Inventories Decline In Line With Forecasts

By William L. WattsMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures maintained healthy gains, trading at nearly 11-month highs Wednesday after data from the Energy Information Administration showed that inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels last week, roughly in line with expectations. Analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast the data to show a 3.1 million barrel fall. Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude supplies decreased by 3.6 million barrels last week. West Texas Intermediate oil futures for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange were up 77 cents, or 1.7%, at 51.13 a barrel.

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