WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday after official data from U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a smaller than expected drop in crude stockpiles and a big jump in gasoline supply in the week ended July 11.
The data also showed a big jump in distillate stock piles in the week.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $0.84, or about 1.5%, at $56.78 a barrel.
On Tuesday, WTI crude oil futures for August ended down $1.96, or 3.3%, at $57.62 a barrel, the lowest settlement since July 5.
Speculation about fresh U.S.-Iran negotiations on the nuclear deal issue and concerns about the outlook for energy demand dragged down oil prices for a second straight day.
According to data released by EIA earlier in the day, crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by 3.1 million barrels last week, against expectations for a drop of about 2.7 million barrels.
The data also showed gasoline inventories were up 3.6 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 925,000-barrel decline. Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles rose by 5.7 million barrels in the week, substantially more than the expected 613,000-barrel increase.
On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a small crude oil inventory draw of 1.401 million barrels for the week ending July 11, compared to analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.
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