NEW YORK (
) -- Crude oil was higher by 35 cents to $74.75 a barrel Wednesday after a report showed a decline last week in U.S. crude inventories.
Its high for the day in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange was $74.85 a barrel.
Crude for February delivery settled Tuesday at $74.40, up 68 cents, after OPEC ministers said the oil cartel would keep production quotas unchanged.
Oil prices also rose on signs that oil demand may be increasing. U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute, to 3.7 million barrels while analysts had expected a drop of 2 million barrels.
Later Wednesday, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration is scheduled to issue its inventory report.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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