NEW YORK (
) -- Oil prices climbed early Thursday, following the release of inventory data from the Energy Department on Wednesday.
The front-month crude contract was trading at $69.05 a barrel, up $1 during the electronic trading session. On Wednesday, the price settled flat at $68.05.
Inventory figures from the Energy Information Administration showed that
oil stockpiles fell by a narrower-than-expected 400,000 barrels last week, while gasoline inventories plunged by a steeper-than-expected 3 million barrels.
Major oil stocks were mixed by closing on Wednesday. Shares of
tracked back by 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively, at the closing bell.
also joined them just barely in the red, down 4 cents at $30.29.
On the other hand,
Royal Dutch Shell
all finished in positive territory, gaining 0.4%, 4.1% and 1.6%, respectively.
-- Written by Sung Moss in New York
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