Oil edges up after choppy session

NEW YORK – Oil prices gained 0.4 per cent in choppy trade on Wednesday, after a report showing a bigger-than-expected US crude stock build was offset by large distillate and gasoline inventory draws.

US crude stocks rose by five million barrels, the biggest jump since late January, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Expectations had been for a 2 million barrel build.

But there was a larger-than-expected draw on fuel stocks.

“We’re not pressuring the downside that much. Of course, the reason is because we had some unexpectedly large draws in distillates and gasoline that, when added together, are two times bigger than the crude build,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were up 25 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to settle at $64.89 per barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 also gained 25 cents, to settle at $60.96 per barrel.

“I don’t think we have a clear set of directions, and I don’t think this (EIA) report gives that much of an insight as to whether the rebalance continues or not. We continue to just chop around here,” said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy.

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