Crude Rises On Low US Inventories

Crude oil rose for the first time in six sessions yesterday after the American Petroleum Institute reported that the level of US inventories fell last week.

Supplies declined 0.8 percent to 321.6 million barrels, the institute reported late yesterday. Gasoline stockpiles also fell as motorists took to the highways during the opening weeks of the peak driving season. Gasoline demand was 4.2 percent higher than a year earlier, according to figures derived from the report.

“By the end of the month gasoline stocks should be below last year's levels,” said William Brown, president of W.H. Brown & Co., a consulting firm in New York. “Gasoline demand ought to stay strong this summer and there is scope for higher production by refiners in the next few weeks.”

Crude oil for July delivery rose 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $24.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down 16 percent from a year ago.

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