|Oil futures gain after supply data|
Crude-oil futures advanced further Wednesday after a U.S. government report showed a larger-than-expected decline in U.S. inventories and geopolitical developments continued to lead to concerns about oil supplies.
Crude oil for September delivery, the new front-month contract, rose 33 cents, or 0.3%, to $102.73 U.S. a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract had traded around $102.57 U.S. a barrel before the Energy Information Administration report. The EIA said crude inventories declined four million barrels in the week ended July 18. Analysts polled by Platts expected crude oil stocks to decline 2.6 million barrels.
The EIA said gasoline supplies added 3.4 million barrels in the week, while distillates, which include heating oil, increased 1.6 million barrels.
The analysts surveyed by Platts had expected gasoline supplies up 1.2 million barrels, while distillate supplies were seen up 1.8 million barrels.
With the EIA report out of the way, geopolitical tensions "are real and the biggest event now," according to one analyst.
Earlier Wednesday, two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down near the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was hit.
That’s going to increase the pressure on the global community to pay more attention to the unrest in Ukraine and could trigger tighter European sanctions on Russia, which Russia has avoided so far, he said.