NEW YORK, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices gained on stronger- than-expected U.S. durable goods data Wednesday.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in February jumped 2. 2 percent to 229.4 billion U.S. dollars after two consecutive monthly declines, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday, beating analysts' expectations.
Moreover, U.S. service sector activity growth rebounded in March, which partly reflected a catch-up effect after weather- related disruptions in the previous month, said the financial data firm Markit Wednesday. The Markit Flash U.S. Services Purchasing Managers' Index registered 55.5 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, picking up sharply from February's four-month low of 53.3.
Crude inventories of the United States climbed by 6.6 million barrels to 382.5 million last week, said the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, Wednesday.
The EIA report also showed that inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the contract, dropped for an eighth week. Supplies at the hub dropped as a new portion of pipeline started to transport crude from Cushing to the Gulf Coast this January.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved up 1.07 dollars to settle at 100.26 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery gained 4 cents to close at 107.03 dollars a barrel.