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NEW YORK (AP) - The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies grew 400,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 364.6 million barrels, which is 2.4 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a drop of 3 million barrels for the week ended July 26, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies rose by 800,000 barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 223.5 million barrels. That's 7.5 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to shrink by 1.5 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended July 26 was up 3.2 percent from a year ago, averaging over 9 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 91.3 percent of total capacity on average, down 1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 92.5 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, dropped by 500,000 barrels to 126 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to rise by 800,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude futures rose 48 cents to $103.56 a barrel in New York.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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