Oil futures trade modestly lower Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that domestic-crude supplies climbed, but inventories of gasoline and distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, declined in the week ended Dec. 16. Crude supplies rose 2.2 million barrels. That was contrary to the 2.3-million-barrel fall expected by analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal. EIA showed that gasoline stocks declined by 1.3 million barrels, while distillates were down 2.42 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday in New York reported that U.S. crude inventories showed a drawdown of 4.1 million barrels in the week while gasoline stocks fell by 2 million barrels and distillates dropped by 1.5 million barrels. The two reports have often offered conflicting data. West Texas Intermediate crude-oil futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange for February delivery lost 15 cents, or 0.3%, at $53.11 a barrel.
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