- U.S. oil futures rose to a seven-week high on Wednesday, amid speculation key U.S. weekly supply data due later in the day will show a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. oil supplies.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March rose to a session high of USD100.69 a barrel, the most since December 27.

Nymex oil prices last traded at USD100.64 a barrel during European morning hours, up 0.7%. The March contract settled down 0.12% on Tuesday to end at USD99.94 a barrel.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD99.11 a barrel, the low from February 10 and resistance at USD100.75 a barrel, the high from December 27.

Wednesday’s government report was expected to show that crude oil stockpiles rose by 2.7 million barrels last week. The data was also expected to show that distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, decreased by 2.3 million barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended February 7, below expectations for an increase of 2.5 million barrels.

The report also showed that distillate stocks fell 1.5 million barrels, while gasoline stockpiles decreased by 480,000 barrels.

Meanwhile, trade data out of China released earlier showed that the Asian nation imported a record-high 28.16 million metric tons of crude oil in January, equivalent to 6.66 million barrels a day.

China is the world''s second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for March delivery tacked on 0.35% to trade at USD109.04 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD8.40 a barrel.

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