- Crude oil prices gained on Wednesday in Asia after industry data showed a sharp drop in U.S. crude oil stocks.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that the week showed a 5.7-million-barrel drop in crude stocks. The group also said gasoline stocks declined by just 48,000 barrels and supplies of distillates rose by 531,000 barrels.

Later on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy will reportr its estimates of crude stocks with a drop of 650,000 barrles in crude supplies expected.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil for delivery in August traded at $106.03 a barrel, up 0.15%, after hitting an overnight session low of $105.47 a barrel and a high of $106.67 a barrel.

Brent oil on the ICE futures exchange rose 0.5% to $113.45 a barrel on Tuesday, the highest price since Sept. 9.

An insurgency led by radical Sunni radicals continued to press towards Baghdad, which kept prices elevated though profit taking lowered the commodity, as investors felt geopolitical concerns had sent prices climbing too high, especially considering that oilfields in the southern reaches of the country continue to operate normally.

Many investors jumped to the sidelines to await the release of public and private-sector U.S. invntory reports.

Investors also looked ahead to the outcome of the upcoming Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday, as they await fresh indications on the timing of possible interest rates increases.

Mixed data kept investors on the sidelines as well, especially soft housing-sector indicators.

The Commerce Department reported that housing starts dropped by 6.5% last month to 1.001 million units, while the number of building permits issued last month fell by 6.4% to 991,000 units, both figures disappointing investors, though upbeat inflation data cushioned oil''s losses.

The Labor Department reported earlier that the U.S. consumer price index rose 2.1% on year in May and rose 0.4% from April. It was the fastest increase in annual inflation since October 2008, which sparked demand for the greenback.

Market expectations had been for an annual increase of 2.0% and a monthly rise of 0.2%.

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