Oil Futures Settle At 2-week High

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, buoyed by data showing a drop in gasoline stockpiles and a weak U.S. dollar.

The dollar shed ground as weak U.S. data released overnight fueled speculation of a less hawkish Fed.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence ebbed in October and home prices fell sharply in August, adding to recent signs that the Fed’s aggressive tightening stance was starting to cool the world’s largest economy.

The dollar index fell to 109.63 a little past noon and was last seen hovering around 109.65, down more than 1.1% from the previous close.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended higher by $2.59 or about 3% at $87.91 a barrel, the highest settlement since October 13.

Brent crude futures were up $2.04 or 2.22% at $93.78 a barrel a little while ago.

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude oil stockpiles in the U.S. increased by about 2.6 million barrels in the week ended October 21, well above an expected increase of 1.0 million barrels.

Gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.478 million barrels last week, nearly twice the expected drop of 0.805 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose by 170,000 barrels in the week versus an expected drop of 1.138 million barrels.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude inventories grew by 4.5 million barrels last week, more than expectations for a build of 200,000 barrels.

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