Oil futures settled higher for a third session in a row on Wednesday. The Energy Information Administration reported weekly increases in U.S. crude, gasoline and distillate supplies. The data, however, also showed “some evidence of improving consumer demand for refined products,” said Tyler Richey, co-editor of Sevens Report Research, with the four-week moving average of gasoline supplied up by just over 200,000 barrels a day to 8.3 million barrels a day. The EIA also reported a 2.2% jump in the U.S. refinery utilization rate which “suggest refinery operators are anticipating an uptick in consumer demand,” he said. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CLH23, +1.67% rose $1.33, or 1.7%, to settle at $78.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month contract prices settled at their highest since Jan. 31, FactSet data show.
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