Light, sweet futures held gains of almost 2 percent Wednesday after the EIA reported a sharp decline in U.S. gasoline inventories.
September crude gained nearly a dollar to settle at $87.58 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its European counterpart settled at $110.60 a barrel, up $1.47.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a higher than expected drop in gasoline stockpiles, pushing oil prices higher early on in Wednesday's trading session. The EIA said gasoline stockpiles declined by 3.5 million barrels last week to 210.1 million barrels. An increase in gasoline demand suggests refineries require more oil. Meanwhile, the market pared gains when the EIA reported an increase of 4.23 million barrels in oil inventories.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate traded between $86.65 and $89.00 Wednesday. Brent benchmark peaked at $111.74—the highest since Aug. 4.
In other NYMEX trading, front-month natural gas futures settled at $3.93 per thousand cubic feet after fluctuating between $3.89 and $3.98 Wednesday. Gasoline for September delivery gained 1.65 cents ending the session at $2.89 a gallon. Reformulated gasoline traded as high as $2.93 and as low as $2.86 Wednesday.
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