Oil prices hold sharp gains as weekly EIA inventory report shows 562,000-barrel fall in crude supplies

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The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday morning that U.S. crude inventories fell by 562,000 barrels for the week ended Dec. 18. That compared with the average decline of 4.7 million barrels forecast by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported that U.S. crude supplies rose by 2.7 million barrels for the week, according to sources. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub edged down by 26,000 barrels for the week. Gasoline supply, meanwhile, declined by 1.125 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 2.325 million barrels. S&P Global Platts had forecast a supply increase of 1.4 million barrels for gasoline and a drawdown of 1.1 million barrels in distillates. February West Texas Intermediate oil [s:CLG21] were trading up 1.5% at $47.76 a barrel.
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