U.S. oil rises after surprise inventory drop; stocks up

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil prices rose to a 15-month high on Wednesday after a surprise U.S. inventory drawdown, boosting energy shares.

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WTI crude CLc1 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.

Stocks in the financial sector were boosted by Morgan Stanley's MS.N better-than-expected quarterly profit, which rounds out a string of solid results from the largest U.S. banks.

“We’re up because the (earnings) numbers are so great, the forward guidance is great and the banks just knocked it out of the park,” said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York.

Energy stocks were boosted by the higher oil prices and helped 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 .DJI rose 40.68 points, or 0.22 percent, to 18,202.62, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 4.69 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,144.29 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 2.58 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,246.41.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index rose 0.3 percent, following a 1.5 percent rise in the previous session. MSCI's gauge of stocks world wide .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.4 percent.

U.S. crude CLc1 was up 2.3 percent at $51.44 a barrel and Brent LCOc1 last traded at $52.57, up 1.7 percent on the day.


Saudi Arabia sold $17.5 billion of debt, the largest ever emerging market bond sale in the government’s first international offer that attracted investor orders for almost four times that amount.

The launch of the offering briefly drove Treasury yields higher but benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 1/32 in price to yield 1.745 percent, a tick down from 1.748 percent on Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar index .DXY was little changed at 97.881, not far from the seven-month high of 98.169 hit Monday.

The euro was less than 0.1 percent lower versus the U.S. dollar at $1.0969 EUR=.

Spot gold XAU= gained 0.6 percent to $1,269.21 an ounce, after earlier touching its highest since Oct. 5 at $1,273.34. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 rose 0.6 percent to $1,270.00 an ounce.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Richard Leong and Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski