Oil Extend Rise Ahead of Storage Data, Buoyed by U.S. Stimulus Hopes

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Oil futures rose Wednesday, with the U.S. benchmark building on a push to a oneyear high, after data from an industry group showed a drop in crude and gasoline inventories and traders cheered prospects for another round of aid spending by the U.S. government.

West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 46 cents, or 0.8, to 55.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after posting the highest close since January. April Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 60 cents, or 1, to 58.06 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday said that U.S. crude supplies fell by 4.3 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 29, according to sources. The data also showed gasoline stockpiles down by 240,000 barrels, while distillate inventories declined by 1.6 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub, meanwhile, fell 1.9 million barrels for the week, sources said.

More closely followed data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. Analysts surveyed by SP Global Platts, on average, expect the EIA data to show crude inventories down by 2.4 million barrels. The survey also showed expectations for an inventory increase of 1.5 million barrels for gasoline and a decline of 1.3 million barrels for distillates.

Meanwhile, optimism around a push for another round of pandemic relief spending was putting a bid in all risk assets, including crude oil, said Robert Yawger, director of…

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