Oil edges up on expectations of decline in U.S. supplies

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The price of oil ticked higher to near US$103 a barrel Wednesday as traders anticipated a decline in U.S. supplies of crude.

Benchmark U.S. oil for July delivery was up 17 cents to $102.83 a barrel at 3:25 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 19 cents to close Tuesday at $102.66.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained 7 cents to $108.89 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

A report due later Wednesday on U.S. supplies for the week ended May 30 is expected to show a decline of 2 million barrels in crude oil stocks and an increase of 2 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was steady at $2.949 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 0.1 cent to $4.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil rose 0.2 cent to $2.868 a gallon.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

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