Investing.com - Better-than-expected reports on U.S. durable goods and oil inventories sent crude futures rising on Wednesday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil for delivery in May traded at $99.94 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.76%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $99.11 a barrel and a high of $100.13 a barrel.
The May contract settled down 0.41% at $99.19 a barrel on Tuesday.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $98.82 a barrel, Tuesday''s low, and resistance at $100.29 a barrel, Monday''s high.
Oil prices firmed after the Commerce Department reported that U.S. durable goods orders rose 2.2% in February, wiping out two months of declines and surpassing expectations for a 1.0% increase.
Core durable goods orders, which exclude transportation items, inched up 0.2%, slightly below forecasts for a 0.3% gain.
The numbers fueled expectations for a more sustained pickup in the U.S. economy, which should hike demand for more fuel and energy.
Weekly inventory data gave oil prices a boost as well.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 6.6 million barrels in the week ended March 21, above expectations for an increase of 2.8 million barrels.
The EIA also reported a 1.3 million barrel draw at a delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma, which was larger expected and eclipsed the otherwise bearish 6.6 million-barrel build.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 382.5 million barrels as of last week.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 5.1 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 1.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased by 1.6 million barrels, confounding expectations for a withdrawal of 1.4 million barrels.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent Oil futures for May delivery were down 0.24%, trading at US$106.74 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$6.80 a barrel.
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