Investing.com - U.S. oil futures edged lower on Wednesday, amid speculation key U.S. weekly supply data due later in the day will show a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. oil supplies.
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On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March fell to a session low of USD96.91 a barrel, before trimming losses to trade at USD96.92 during European morning trade, down 0.5%.
WTI oil prices rose to USD97.66 a barrel on Tuesday, the highest since January 24, before paring gains to settle at USD97.41 a barrel, up 1.77%.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD95.21 a barrel, the low from January 27 and resistance at USD97.80 a barrel, the high from January 24.
Wednesday’s government report was expected to show that crude oil stockpiles rose by 2.4 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories were forecast to increase by 1.2 million barrels.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.75 million barrels in the week ended January 24. The data also showed that gasoline stockpiles increased by 363,000 barrels.
Market players also prepared for the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later in the day, amid expectations for a USD10 billion reduction in the central bank’s now USD75-billion-a-month stimulus program.
The policy meeting will mark the last for outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as current Vice Chair Janet Yellen prepares to take over. The central bank announced its first cut to its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases in December, citing an improving economy.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for March delivery was little changed to trade at USD107.40 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD10.48 a barrel.