Oil futures advanced on Wednesday, finishing above $90 a barrel, the highest close in nearly two weeks, after the U.S. government reported an increase in crude supplies that was smaller than expected along with a big decline in gasoline stockpiles.
Crude for June delivery added 2.5 percent, the largest gain this year, to settle at $91.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil futures have still declined more than 6 percent this month, harmed by worries about weak oil demand in a well-supplied market.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude supplies increased by 900,000 barrels for the week ended April 19. Analysts polled by Platts predicted a 1.4-million-barrel climb.
Motor gasoline supplies decreased by 3.9 million barrels, but distillate stockpiles added 100,000 barrels, the EIA data showed. Forecasts called for a drop of 700,000 barrels in gasoline stockpiles and a fall of 450,000 barrels in distillate supplies.
Moving to the metals markets, gold futures strengthened 1 percent on Wednesday following disappointing U.S. economic data.
Gold for June delivery added 1.1 percent to settle at $1,423.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Orders for U.S. durable goods fell by a seasonally adjusted 5.7 percent in March, more than the 3.2 percent decline expected by economists polled by MarketWatch.
In other metals, May copper futures advanced 2.1 percent to finish at $3.16 a pound, after Tuesday’s drop of 1.2 percent.
May silver tacked on 0.1 percent to $22.83 an ounce, pulling back after earlier highs above $23.
July platinum futures rose 0.9 percent to $1,430.80 an ounce, but palladium for June delivery fell 0.9 percent to $667.65 an ounce.