Oil edged above $94 a barrel Wednesday, recovering slightly from an extended slide ahead of a report expected to show another increase in U.S. crude stockpiles.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 78 cents at $94.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slid $1.25 to $93.37 on Tuesday, adding to a monthlong slide. Crude is down about 10 percent since closing at $104.10 on October 2.
U.S. crude stockpiles have increased in each of the past six weeks, mostly because of rising domestic production, and were more than 10 percent above their five-year average near the end of October.
A report from the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute released late Tuesday showed a rise of 871,000 barrels in crude stocks last week, while gasoline stocks fell by an unexpectedly large 4.3 million barrels.
The figures from the Energy Information Administration -- the market benchmark -- due Wednesday are expected to show a further increase of 2.5 million barrels in crude stocks and a draw of 1 million barrels in gasoline supplies, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
"The surprisingly marked decline in stocks of oil products despite a higher level of crude oil processing points to robust U.S. exports of gasoline and distillates," analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt said in a note to clients. "Alongside a noticeably firmer U.S. dollar, plentiful supply is also weighing on oil prices."
A stronger dollar tends to boost oil prices by making commodities like crude priced in dollars cheaper --and a more attractive investment -- for traders using other currencies. The euro has fallen from highs around $1.38 last week to around $1.3511 on Wednesday.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 88 cents at $106.21 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
-- Wholesale gasoline added 3.8 cents to $2.5541 a gallon.
-- Heating oil rose 2.27 cents to $2.8868 a gallon.
-- Natural gas gained 2.6 cents to $3.492 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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