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Oil prices rebound on speculation of U.S. inventories drop


12:43, July 13, 2013

NEW YORK, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices advanced Friday on speculation that U.S. crude inventories will decrease for the third week after a sharp drop in the past two weeks.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery gained 1.04 U.S. dollars to settle at 105.95 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for August delivery went up 1.08 dollars to close at 108. 81 dollars a barrel.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday crude supplies fell significantly last week. U.S. crude inventories shrank 9.87 million barrels to 373.9 million barrels for the week ending July 5.

Gasoline supplies declined 2.6 million barrels to 221 million barrels as analysts have expected a gain of 1.2 million barrels. The EIA report also showed that U.S. refineries operated at 92.4 percent of the total capacity.

U.S. oil supplies have dropped 20.2 million barrels in the past two weeks, which traders believed signaled a rising demand in the world's biggest consumer.

The uncertainty in Egypt also supported the oil prices as traders are worried that the demonstration in Egypt could affect the oil production and transport in the Middle East.

On the economic front, U.S. wholesale prices jumped in June on rising gasoline prices. The Producer Price Index for finished goods increased 0.8 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.

Meanwhile, the core wholesale prices, which exclude volatile food and energy sectors moved up 0.2 percent in June.

Moreover, a joint survey released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan Friday showed that U.S. consumer sentiment index in July slightly decreased to 83.9 from 84.1 in the prior month.

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