Oil Ends Up As US Crude Stocks Rise Less Than Expected


NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Oil prices closed higher on Wednesday for a second day in a row after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose less than expected last week, ending two weeks of builds that pressured the market.

Prices remained up even as the dollar rallied in the afternoon to a Federal Reserve statement that suggested to some that the central bank's confidence in U.S. labor market recovery could result in an earlier-than-expected rate hike.

Benchmark Brent crude oil for December settled up $1.09 at $87.12 a barrel, after touching an intraday high of $87.94. Front-month U.S. crude finished up 78 cents at $82.20, after rising as high as $82.88 during the session.

Crude inventories in the United States rose by 2.1 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.4 million barrels, data from the government's Energy Information Administration showed.

Refinery crude runs fell by 79,000 barrels per day, while gasoline stocks dropped by 1.2 million barrels, compared with the 1-million-barrel drop expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

"I think the numbers are supportive, and suggest there's no big surplus of oil forming in any place," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.

Stockpiles had ballooned in the two prior weeks to Oct. 24, driving U.S. crude to a 2-year low beneath $80 a barrel and gasoline prices down too.


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