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Crude inventories fall more sharply than expected: EIA

[NEW YORK] US crude stocks fell last week as imports dropped and refineries cut output, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell by 4.2 million barrels in the last week, compared with analyst expectations for an decrease of 2.5 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 649,000 barrels, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs fell by 92,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates fell by 0.8 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks rose by 2.0 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.1 million barrels drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.3 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.1 million barrels drop, the EIA data showed.

US crude imports fell last week by 362,000 barrels per day.