Oil futures remain higher as EIA reports a smaller-than-expected fall in U.S. crude supplies

The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories edged lower by 400,000 barrels for the week ended May 7. On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a decline of 4.1 million barrels for crude stocks, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 2.5 million-barrel decline, according to sources. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub down by 400,000 barrels for the week. The EIA reported that gasoline supply rose by 400,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell 1.7 million barrels for the week. The S&P Global Platts survey had expected a weekly supply climb of 700,000 barrels for gasoline and 2 million-barrel decline for distillates. Oil prices held onto their earlier gains, with June West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.20, or 1.8%, at $66.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading at $66.36 before the supply data.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.