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Crude Gains as Lower Production Outweighs Higher Inventory

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed that crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly. The report further revealed that within the ‘refined products’ category, gasoline stocks fell, while distillate supplies were up from the week-ago level.

Overall though, the bearish news of a huge increase in domestic commercial crude inventories was overshadowed by another set of federal data that showed a slowdown in oil production during the month of June. As a result, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 1.9% to settle at $46.25 per barrel Wednesday.

Analysis of the Data

Crude Oil: The federal government’s EIA report revealed that crude inventories increased by 4.67 million barrels for the week ending Aug 28, 2015, following a tumble of 5.45 million barrels in the previous week.

The analysts surveyed by Platts – the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Financial Inc. – had expected crude stocks to go down some 800,000 barrels. A sharp uptick in the level of imports and drop in refinery utilization rates led to the surprise stockpile build with the world's biggest oil consumer.

However, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma – the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange – were down 388,000 barrels...