US oil futures rise after crude stocks fall more than expected

0 — U.S crude oil futures rose in post-settlement trading Tuesday after the American Petroleum Institute reported domestic crude stocks fell more than expected last week, stoking optimism that the seasonal rise in summer demand is finally underway. 

, the U.S. benchmark, traded at $78.25 a barrel following the report after settling up 0.2% at $77.90 a barrel.

fell by about 2.4M barrels for the week ended Jun. 7, compared with a build of 4M barrels reported by the API for the previous week. Economists were expecting a decrease of 1.8M barrels. 

The inventory data stoked further optimism that traditional energy demand over the summer months is underway following a slow start.  

The API data also showed that gasoline stockpiles decreased by 2.5M barrels, while distillate inventories — the class of fuels that includes diesel and —  increased by 972,000 barrels. 

The report is due Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT).

Oil prices settled higher Tuesday, underpinned by a stronger demand outlook, though concerns that the Federal Reserve may deliver a hawkish on Wednesday pause kept gains in check.