NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices rose Wednesday as U.S. crude supplies last week increased less than expected.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose 0.1 million barrels to 362.4 million barrels last week, said the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its latest weekly report. The figure missed market expectation of a 1.28-million-barrel increase.
Refineries boosted their operating rate by 1.2 percentage points to 88 percent, the most since Jan. 24, the EIA said.
The economic calendar is relatively light on Wednesday. U.S. Commerce Department said that home sales in January jumped 9.6 percent from revised December rate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 units, marking the fastest pace since July 2008.
Crude also followed gains in U.S. equities. U.S. equities climbed as traders bet that the economy can withstand a slowdown of the Federal Reserve's tapering.
Investors are looking forward to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's postponed testimony before the Senate Banking Committee due on Thursday.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery moved up 76 cents to settle at 102.59 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery gained 1 cent to close at 109.52 dollars a barrel.