Oil Jumps on Inventory Data

Petroleum prices increased to their highs for the day after data showed a smaller than expected build in U.S. inventories. The move also came as Yemen’s Houthi movement claimed it shot down a warplane of the Saudi-led coalition.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped midday Wednesday by more than 3% to a session high of $57.02 U.S. a barrel. Brent crude futures gained $1.73 to hit $62.64 U.S.

Data released mid-morning Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories in the United States increased by 1.4 million barrels for the week ending November 15, which was less than the 1.6-million-barrel figure analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had been expecting. It was also below the prior week’s 2.22-million-barrel build.

Rising tensions in the Middle East could also be impacting oil prices since one fifth of the world’s oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz.

On Wednesday Yemen’s Houthi movement said it shot down a Saudi F-15 warplane, according to a report from Reuters, which officials said "spooked" the market. Protests in Iran and Iraq are also ongoing.