Energy futures overcame sharply increased gasoline and heating oil stocks Wednesday and prices closed higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
While the price movements were not large, with crude oil advancing just a few cents to $14 a barrel, is was a much better performance than expected.
In some other markets, grains, soybeans, livestock and meat futures were mostly higher while precious metals were lower.
The oil market was oversold in the past week or so and this helped account for the buying that developed early in the session, said Ed Dellamonte, an analyst in New York with Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. "And everybody discounted the API numbers because they were in the market already," he said.
In its weekly report, the American Petroleum Institute said gasoline stocks increased 3.97 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 13, heating oil was up 6.155 million barrels and crude oil increased by 2.899 million barrels.
The increase in futures prices was a bit surprising, Dellamonte said. "I thought they should have come off somewhat and that crude should have closed below $14."