Light sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange benefited from bullish U.S. inventory data for much of the day Wednesday, but a selloff late in the midweek session resulted in 28-cent day-on-day loss.
The WTI ended the day at $85.16 a barrel after receiving a boost for much of the day from the latest oil stocks figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA reported Wednesday that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels last week to 351.8 million barrels. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected a 2 million-barrel build, rather than a draw, for the period.
Light sweet crude peaked at $86.59 and bottomed out at $84.55 Wednesday.
The Brent contract price did manage to settle higher Wednesday, gaining 38 cents to finish at $110.15 a barrel. Brent traded within a range from $109.20 to $110.96.
After Tuesday's East Coast earthquake rattled nerves and contributed to a spike in natural gas futures, Wednesday's relative geologic calm in the U.S. helped the front-month price return to negative territory. The September contract lost seven cents to end the day at $3.92 per thousand cubic feet.
Natural gas fluctuated from $3.91 to $4.03 Wednesday.
Reformulated gasoline for September delivery remained flat at $2.88 a gallon Wednesday after trading from $2.85 to $2.91.
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