Investing.com - Oil futures rose on Thursday after U.S. data revealed a noted drop in U.S. gasoline supplies that offset a hike in crude inventories.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in July traded at $103.59 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.84%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $102.62 a barrel and a high of $103.93 a barrel.
The July contract settled down 1.34% at $102.72 a barrel on Wednesday.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $102.62 a barrel, the session low, and resistance at $104.50 a barrel, Tuesday''s high.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported earlier that crude oil inventories rose by 1.657 million barrels last week after falling 7.226 million barrels the week before.
Analysts were expecting crude inventories to rise by 483,000 barrels, though the greater-than-expected build didn''t send prices falling due to bullish gasoline figures.
Gasoline Inventories fell by 1.803 million barrels last week after rising 970,00 barrels the week before.
Analysts were expecting gasoline inventories to rise 283,000 barrels, and the surprising draw sent crude futures rising despite a mixed bag of U.S. economic indicators.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed earlier that the U.S. gross domestic product contracted 1.0% in the first quarter, after a preliminary estimate showed growth of 0.1%.
Market expectations had been for a 0.5% contraction. It was the first decline in U.S. GDP since the first quarter of 2011.
Still, the report did contain some positive data.
Consumer spending, which drives more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased by 3.1%, up from the preliminary estimate of 3.0%.
Elsewhere, the National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index rose 0.4% in April, missing expectations for a 1% gain.
Separately, the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 27,000 to 300,000, exceeding expectations for a decline of 9,000.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for July delivery were up 0.29% and trading at US$110.13 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$6.54 a barrel.
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