Crude inventories and gasoline supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 2.9 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 354.2 million barrels, which is 2.6 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected a build of 2.65 million barrels for the week ended March 26, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline inventories increased by 300,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 224.9 million barrels. That is 3.9 percent above year-ago levels. Analysts forecast a decline of 2 million barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended March 26 was 1.5 percent higher than a year earlier, averaging nearly 9 million barrels a day.
At the same time, U.S. refineries ran at 82.6 percent of total capacity on average, a rise of 1.5 percent from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 81.25 percent.
Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.1 million barrels to 144.6 million barrels for the week ended March 26. Analysts expected distillate stocks to drop by 1.2 million barrels.
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