NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose Wednesday as U.S. oil supplies fell for a third week and the chairman of the Federal Reserve signaled no impending change in the central bank's stimulus program.
Benchmark crude for August delivery gained 48 cents to close at $106.48 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil is up nearly $10 a barrel in July.
Pump prices keep rising. The average price for a gallon of gasoline rose to $3.66, the highest price since May 23. The average is up 16 cents from a week ago.
The price of oil drew support from another sizable decline in oil supplies. The nation's inventory of crude fell by 6.9 million barrels last week, bringing the three-week decline to 27.1 million barrels, the Energy Department said.
That was somewhat offset by a sharp decline in gasoline demand compared with last week. Gasoline consumption fell by 570,000 barrels from a week ago, when demand was boosted by drivers hitting the road for the July Fourth holiday. Gasoline supplies rose by 3.1 million barrels.
Analysts expected a decline of 2.5 million barrels in crude oil supplies and no change in gasoline supplies, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.