Oil gains on sharp drop in US supplies
The price of oil rose Wednesday after the government reported that U.S. oil supplies rose more than expected.
The benchmark U.S. oil contract for September delivery gained 73 cents to $103.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, rose 70 cents to $108.03 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
The Energy Department reported that U.S. oil supplies fell by 4 million barrels last week, a sharper decline than the 2.6 million barrels expected by analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Financial.
On the geopolitical front, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv, seeking to renew a push for a cease-fire after an earlier proposal by Egypt was rejected. Israeli troops battled Hamas militants near a southern Gaza Strip town even as Kerry reported some progress in his efforts.
In other Nymex trading:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.86 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 2 cents to $2.875 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 1 cent to $3.76 per 1,000 cubic feet.