US crude stocks rise more than expected

US crude stocks rose on the back of a sharp drop in oil exports, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 5.9 million barrels in the last week to 445.6 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.6 million-barrel rise. It had fallen by the most on record in the week to July 28, US Energy Information Administration data showed.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 159,000 barrels in the week to Aug 4, EIA said.
US crude oil exports fell by 2.9 million barrels per day last week, the steepest fall on record, to 2.36 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the data. Net US crude imports rose by 2.94 million barrels per day, EIA said.
The market is going to expect crude exports to go up because of the US crude futures and Brent spread, said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.
The spread between prices of US West Texas intermediate futures and Brent narrowed to trade at minus $3.74 on Wednesday. A narrower spread makes US crude less attractive to foreign buyers.
Both benchmarks traded slightly higher after the EIA data. Brent futures rose 85 cents to $87.01 at 11:43 am ET (1543 GMT), after briefly touching its highest since January, while US crude futures rose 86 cents to $83.76, after gaining to its most since November.  
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