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



© Reuters. U.S. oil futures rise ahead of weekly supply data – West Texas Intermediate oil futures edged higher for the second consecutive day 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.

for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 45 cents, or 0.97%, to trade at $46.19 a barrel during European morning hours.

A day earlier, Nymex oil rose 57 cents, or 1.26%, to close at $45.74. New York-traded oil tumbled to a more than four-month low of $45.08 on Monday.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. fell by 2.4 million barrels in the week ended July 31, compared to expectations for a decline of 1.6 million.

Wednesday's government report was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell by 1.5 million barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles were forecast to decline by 0.5 million barrels.

WTI oil futures dropped $12.22, or 21.24%, in July, the biggest monthly loss since October 2008, as worries over high domestic U.S. oil production weighed.

Industry research group Baker Hughes (NYSE:) said Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. increased by five last week to 664, the second straight weekly gain.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, for September delivery rose 53 cents, or 1.06%, to trade at $50.52 a barrel. On Tuesday, London-traded Brent prices inched up 47 cents, or 0.95%, to end at $49.99.

Brent futures plunged to a six-month low of $49.36 on Monday. Futures tumbled $11.39, or 18.6%, last month as ongoing worries over a global supply glut drove down prices.

Global oil production is outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil production and after a decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last year not to cut production.

Meanwhile, the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $4.33 a barrel, compared to $4.25 by close of trade on Tuesday.

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