Investing.com - West Texas Intermediate oil rose on Wednesday, as investors awaited the release of weekly supply data out of the U.S. later in the session to gauge the strength of oil demand from the world’s largest consumer.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in August tacked on 0.19%, or 20 cents, to trade at $106.24 a barrel during European morning hours. Futures held in a range between $105.74 and $107.46 a barrel.
U.S. oil futures ended down 0.13%, or 14 cents, on Tuesday to settle at $106.03. New York-traded oil futures were likely to find support at $105.25 a barrel, the low from June 24 and resistance at $107.45 a barrel, the high from June 23.
Wednesday’s government report was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles were forecast to increase by 1.5 million barrels.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.0 million barrels in the week ended June 20. The report also showed that gasoline stockpiles increased by 2.2 million barrels, while distillate stocks fell by 253,000 barrels.
WTI prices remained supported after the U.S. government eased some restrictions on oil exports on Tuesday.
According to reports, the Obama administration has allowed two companies to export a type of ultra-light oil known as condensate, the first such move since a ban on selling U.S. crude overseas was put into effect 41 years ago.
Meanwhile, market players looked ahead to key U.S. data on durable goods orders for May, as well as final data on first quarter growth later in the day.
The U.S. government’s third revision to the gross domestic product reading is expected to show a contraction of 1.7%. A reading last month had the economy shrinking 1%.
The outlook for the U.S. recovery was boosted after data on Tuesday showed that consumer confidence rose to the highest level since January 2008 in June, while existing home sales surged more than expected in May.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery dipped 0.5%, or 57 cents, to trade at $113.89 a barrel.
Concerns about ongoing violence in Iraq lingered after local media reported that Syrian warplanes struck targets in western Iraq, killing at least 50 people.
However, oil prices have failed to break higher as the fighting in Iraq has yet to spread to the southern part of the country, which is home to more than 80% of Iraq’s oil output.
Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.