WTI oil futures edge higher on bets for U.S. supply drop

WTI oil futures edge higher on bets for U.S. supply drop

West Texas Intermediate oil futures edged higher on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show U.S. crude inventories fell at a faster pace than expected last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for August delivery rose 22 cents, or 0.35%, to trade at $61.23 a barrel during European morning hours. A day earlier, Nymex oil tacked on 63 cents, or 1.04%, to end at $61.01.

Wednesday’s government report was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell by 2.1 million barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles were forecast to decline by 0.3 million barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels in the week ended June 19, compared to expectations for a drop of 2.3 million.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery inched up 12 cents, or 0.19%, to trade at $64.58 a barrel. On Tuesday, Brent futures rose $1.11, or 1.75%, to close at $64.45.

The spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $3.35 a barrel, compared to $3.44 by close of trade on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, investors continued to monitor developments surrounding talks between Greece and its international creditors, amid hopes that a deal was within sight.

The euro group of finance ministers was to hold talks later in the day to discuss whether to present a final plan to European Union leaders at a summit meeting on Thursday. If an agreement is reached the Greek parliament could vote on a deal as soon as this weekend.

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