The nation's crude oil supplies rose sharply last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies increased by 5.5 million barrels, or 1.5 percent, to 363.7 million barrels, which is 0.3 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected an increase of 2.4 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 27, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill.
Gasoline supplies rose by 3.5 million barrels, or 1.6 percent, to 219.7 million barrels. That's 12.1 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to fall by 1.4 million barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Sept. 27 was up 0.8 percent from a year ago, averaging 8.8 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 89 percent of total capacity on average, down 1.3 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to fall to 89.2 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.7 million barrels to 129.2 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to fall by 1.8 million barrels.
Benchmark crude futures rose $1.13 to $103.16 a barrel in morning trading in New York.
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Original headline: US crude oil supplies rise by 5.5 million barrels
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