Investing.com - U.S. oil futures trimmed gains on Wednesday, after a U.S. government report showed that oil and gasoline supplies rose less-than-expected last week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March rose to a session high of USD98.25 a barrel, before trimming gains to trade at USD97.59 during U.S. morning hours, up 0.4%.
Nymex oil prices traded at USD97.90 a barrel prior to the release of the supply data.
WTI oil prices settled 0.79% higher on Tuesday to end at USD97.19 a barrel. Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD96.26 a barrel, the low from February 3 and resistance at USD98.37 a barrel, the high from January 31.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 440,000 barrels in the week ended January 31, compared to expectations for an increase of 2.3 million barrels.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 358.1 million barrels as of last week.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 505,000 barrels, compared to forecasts for a gain of 1.5 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles declined by 2.4 million barrels.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing manager''s index rose to 54.0 last month from a reading of 53.0 in December. Analysts had expected the index to ease up to 53.7 in January.
The data came after payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 175,000 last month, below expectations for an increase of 180,000.
While not viewed as a reliable guide for the government jobs report due on Friday, February 7, it does give guidance on private-sector hiring.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for March delivery inched up 0.15% to trade at USD105.95 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD8.36 a barrel.
The spread between the two contracts narrowed to a four-month low as the Keystone XL pipeline linking Cushing, Oklahoma, to the U.S. Gulf Coast began making deliveries last month. Flows will rise over the course of the year toward its 700,000-barrel capacity, which should help alleviate a glut of crude in the Midwest.