NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices steadied Wednesday as a government report showed U.S. crude inventories at Cushing, the contract's delivery point, increased last week, meeting expectation.
Stockpiles at Cushing gained 500,000 barrels to 20.7 million for the week ended Aug. 22, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Supplies at the hub have increased for four weeks as a fire shut down refinery in Kansas since July 29, which used supplies from Cushing.
Meanwhile, U.S. national crude stockpiles lost 2.1 million barrels to 360.5 million barrels, also in line with market expectation.
On the economic front, U.S. mortgage applications increased 2.8 percent for the week ended Aug. 22 from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Traders kept a close eye on the second reading of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2014 which is scheduled to be released Thursday by the Commerce Department. Economists expected the second estimate to be the same as the initial one of increasing 4.0 percent.
In Iraq, U.S. military forces continued to attack Islamic militants in support of Iraqi security forces, using fighter, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft. So far, the conflict in Iraq spared oil facilities in the south, home to about three- quarters of its crude output.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery edged up 2 cents to settle at 93.88 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery gained 22 cents to close at 102.72 dollars a barrel.