Investing.com - U.S. oil futures rose to a two-week high 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, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June advanced 0.23%, or 23 cents, to trade at $101.93 a barrel during European morning hours.
Nymex oil hit a session high of $102.12 a barrel earlier in the day, the most since April 29. WTI futures added 1.1%, or $1.11, on Tuesday to settle at $101.70 a barrel.
New York-traded oil futures were likely to find support at $100.36 a barrel, the low from May 13 and resistance at $102.34 a barrel, the high from April 24.
Wednesday’s government report was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell by 100,000 barrels last week. The data was also forecast to show that distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, increased by 530,000 barrels.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories increased by 912,000 barrels in the week ended May 9, compared to expectations for a decline of 1.5 million barrels.
The report also showed that distillate stocks increased by 883,000 barrels, while gasoline stockpiles fell by 2 million barrels.
Meanwhile, market players looked ahead to the release of U.S. data on producer price inflation due later in the session for further indications on the strength of the economy and the need for stimulus.
Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. retail sales inched up by just 0.1% last month, missing expectations for a 0.4% increase.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for July delivery inched up 0.18%, or 19 cents, to trade at $108.73 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $6.80 a barrel.
Oil traders continued to monitor events in Ukraine, as conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces continued to escalate, stoking fears that the crisis will develop and drag the U.S. deeper into the standoff.
Russia produced 10.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2012 and exported 7.4 million, making it the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.
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