Investing.com - Oil prices weakened in U.S. trading on Wednesday after official U.S. data revealed that the nation's crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week, fueling fears of softening demand for fuels and energy.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May traded down 0.31% at USD96.04 a barrel on Wednesday, off from a session high of USD96.32 and up from an earlier session low of USD95.59.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported earlier that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 3.256 million barrels last week after falling by 1.314 million barrels in the week before last.
Analysts were expecting oil inventories to rise by only 705,000 last week.
Gasoline inventories, meanwhile, fell by 1.596 million barrels compared to a drop of 1.476 million barrels in the preceding week.
Analysts were calling for gasoline inventories to fall by 1.020 million last week.
Elsewhere in the U.S., the National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index slipped 0.4% in February, beyond analysts' calls for a drop of 0.2% though the number still remained at its second-highest level in three years.
The figure curbed oil's declines somewhat.
Elsewhere on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for May delivery were down 0.02% at USD109.33 a barrel, up USD13.29 from its U.S. counterpart.