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U.S. weekly crude stocks rise more than expected

U.S. crude stocks rose last week as refineries cut output, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 2.9 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.4 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 941,000 barrels, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs fell by 361,000 barrels per day (bpd), EIA data showed, while refinery utilization rates fell by 0.7 percentage point to the lowest level since October 2017, the data showed.

Oil prices were little changed after briefly extending losses after the data.

The drop in refining activity has yielded a build to oil inventories despite the drop in net imports, said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.

Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 601,000 bpd.

“We are in the depths of fall maintenance but both strong exports and weak imports have helped limit the build,” Smith said.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 257,000-barrel drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.9 million barrels, versus expectations for a 2.1 million barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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