Marking a second consecutive trading session of gains, the energy commodity checked in at less than projected last week. Crude oil initially was slumping but then the Energy Information Administration, an arm of the U.S. Energy Department, released data noting supplies advanced by 375,000 barrels for week ended November 15. That proved to be markedly less than the 1 million barrel increase forecast by 11 Bloomberg-polled analysts and investors.
The price of crude oil also benefited from retail sales data pushing higher than projected.
"The inventory report is a bit supportive," senior market analyst Phil Flynn with the Price Futures Group in Chicago told the news source on Wednesday. "The retail sales report is bullish for crude and it raises demand expectations."
At 10:46 a.m. on Wednesday, WTI crude oil futures rose 0.58 percent, a 54-cent climb to $93.88 per barrel. At 10:47 a.m., Brent crude oil futures advanced 0.54 percent, a 58-cent lift to $107.50 per barrel.
Supplies, retail sales rise
For a ninth consecutive week, inventories of crude oil gained and amounted to more than 388 million barrels, according to the arm of the Energy Department.
Retail sales rose 0.4 percent in October, representing the biggest gain in about three months, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Projections by economists surveyed by the news source indicated an advance of 0.1 percent.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to release minutes from last month's policy meeting on Wednesday, which is likely to impact prices of the energy commodity. Investors and analysts are curious about when the Fed will taper economy-spurring monetary stimulus measures. The term of Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to expire in late January and Vice Chair Janet Yellen, the White House nominee, said she plans to continue the program if she is approved when she testified before Congress earlier this week.
Negotiations resume regarding Iran
But the gains for oil were curbed by an increased confidence regarding political negotiations between oil-rich Iran and Western powers regarding the ambitions of the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear powers, according to Reuters.
Negotiators are convening in Geneva as they drive toward a preliminary agreement that ultimately will relax sanctions levied against Iran by nations in Europe and the U.S., which would result in oil exports rising again.
Stronger processing expected
The Wall Street Journal reports many analysts and market participants are anticipating an increased amount of processing of the energy commodity due to seasonal adjustments.
The maintenance season is closing, which impacts the price of oil on the commodity complex.
"I changed my position to the long side as we are coming out of turnaround season and demand is picking up. I am a wary bull, but I am bullish," editor Stephen Schork with energy newsletter The Schork Report told The Wall Street Journal.
While negotiations restart between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, The Wall Street Journal reports a government official with oil-rich Libya said National Oil Co. will dispatch a tanker equipped with about 600,000 barrels of the energy commodity. National Oil Co. is owned by the state.
The North African country is working on resuming production and export of the energy commodity in the aftermath of civil unrest and demonstrations in the nation that typically produces 1.6 million barrels of oil per day.
The country's production has fallen to a fraction of that figure, which has reduced the amount of Libyan oil available to Europe.
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