NEW YORK Jan 5 U.S. crude oil futures prices
initially held earlier losses on Wednesday in choppy trading
after a government report said U.S. crude oil stocks fell more
than forecast last week, though not as much as was reported in
industry data the previous day.
U.S. crude oil stocks fell 4.16 million barrels last week,
the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly
oil inventory report on Wednesday. [EIA/S]
That was less than the 7.5 million barrel slide reported by
the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday. [API/S]
But the EIA report also showed builds in distillate and
gasoline stocks that were higher than expected.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February crude CLG1
fell $1, or 1.12 percent, to $88.38 a barrel at 10:40 a.m. EST
(1540 GMT), trading before the data as low as $88.10 and as
high as $89.43.
Prices were about 74 cents lower ahead of the EIA report,
already under pressure from a stronger dollar.
(Reporting by Robert Gibbons)