Oil ends higher for the session; traders continue to weigh supply and demand prospects

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Oil futures shook off earlier weakness to finish with a gain on Wednesday. The Energy Information Administration had reported a 3.5 million-barrel fall in weekly U.S. crude supplies, but increases in gasoline and distillate inventories were much larger than the market expected. Once traders “looked beneath the sticker shock” of a weekly rise in total petroleum stocks, “the report generally seemed positive and showed a tightening market,” said Manish Raj, chief financial officer at Velandera Energy. The market is also “still recovering from an unwarranted drop on Monday, which created a buying opportunity as traders looked to buy the dip.” West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery
CLK21,
-0.38%
rose 44 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $59.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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