Crude-oil futures pared losses Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. crude supplies. Crude inventories declined by 800,000 barrels in the week ended Dec. 12, the EIA said. Analysts polled by Platts had expected a decline of 2.5 million barrels. The EIA also reported gasoline supplies rose by 5.3 million barrels, and inventories of distillates, which include heating oil, declined by 200,000 barrels. The analysts surveyed by Platts had expected gasoline inventories to rise by 2.3 million barrels, and distillate stocks to be up by 670,000 barrels. January crude recently traded flat at $55.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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