Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Crude oil futures rose on Wednesday after the release of U.S. crude oil inventory levels by the Energy Information Administration indicated a smaller build-up than what had been reported a day earlier by the American Petroleum Institute.
"The latest EIA crude oil inventory report showed a fifth consecutive build in U.S. oil stockpiles with a rise of 6.34 million barrels, higher than analyst estimates of 3.7 million barrels," DailyFX analyst Justin McQueen told UPI.
"However, WTI crude futures rose in reaction to the report, briefly breaking above $67, given that the headline figure had been lower than the 9.88 million barrel build reported in yesterday's API report," he added.
As of 11:00 a.m. EST, just after the EIA reported a crude oil inventory buildup for the week ended October 19, WTI crude futures for front-month delivery traded at $67.03 per barrel, up nearly 1 percent from the opening. By 11:00 a.m. EST they were trading at $66.76, just 0.5 percent higher.
Brent crude futures for front-month delivery were also higher as of 10.44 a.m. EST with front-month delivery futures trading at $76.73 per barrel. By 11.03 a.m. EST they traded at $76.53, or just 0.1% higher.
The morning session has been volatile, with WTI prices once again testing support at levels just above $66 per barrel and Brent crude going as far south as $75.18 per barrel before both prices picked up.
Crude futures prices fell sharply in the first two days of the week. Brent futures had traded early Monday above $80 per barrel, a level it had sustained for about a month.
WTI had seen a level as high as $69.80 per barrel early Monday before the declines.
"WTI crude is testing the ascending trendline stemming from November 2017," McQueen wrote in a report before the EIA released the stockpile data.
The EIA said in its Wednesday weekly report that U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.7 million barrels per day last week, up by 63,000 barrels per day from the previous week.
"At 422.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2 percent above the five year average for this time of year," it said.
The United States is one of the biggest crude oil importers and its inventory levels influence worldwide prices.