* U.S. crude hits 15-month high
* Energy stocks lead Wall St higher, Intel slumps (Updates with U.S. market trading, changes throughout)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices rose to a 15-month high on Wednesday after a surprise U.S. inventory drawdown, boosting energy shares.
WTI crude hit its highest since July 2015 after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. stockpiles fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week ended Friday, dashing analysts’ expectations for a build.
Energy stocks led the way up on Wall Street, boosted by the higher oil prices. Exxon and Chevron were the largest gainers on the S&P 500, helping offset a near 6-percent decline in shares of Intel after a disappointing revenue forecast.
“The severe weakness in energy prices really took a toll. We’ve had a few starts up only to see prices fall, but this time it seems different, the price holding for longer and investors are warming to the sector,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“Better energy prices are seen as a statement that maybe the economy is a little bit stronger,” he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62.66 points, or 0.34 percent, to 18,224.6, the S&P 500 gained 5.36 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,144.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.44 points, or 0.03 percent, to 5,245.28.
The S&P 500 energy sector rose 2 percent.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 percent, following a 1.5 percent rise in the previous session. MSCI’s gauge of stocks world wide rose 0.4 percent.
U.S. crude was up 2.8 percent at $51.71 a barrel and Brent last traded at $52.86, up 2.3 percent on the day.
Saudi Arabia sold $17.5 billion of debt, the largest ever emerging market bond sale. The government’s first international offer attracted investor orders for almost four times that amount.
The launch of the offering briefly drove Treasury yields higher but benchmark 10-year notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 1.738 percent, down from 1.748 percent on Tuesday.
The U.S. dollar index was little changed at 97.899, not far from the seven-month high of 98.169 hit Monday.
The euro was 0.1 percent lower versus the U.S. dollar at $1.0963.
Spot gold gained 0.7 percent to $1,270.62 an ounce, after earlier touching its highest since Oct. 5 at $1,273.34. U.S. gold futures rose 0.7 percent to $1,271.70 an ounce.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Nick Zieminski