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US crude oil stocks drop less than expected: EIA

[WASHINGTON] US crude stocks fell last week, though the decline was less than forecast, while gasoline and distillate stocks decreased, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.

Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 2.5 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 704,000 barrels, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs fell by 73,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.1 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 157,000-barrel drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which includes diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.3 million barrels, versus expectations for a decline of 891,000 barrels, the EIA said.

US crude imports rose last week by 425,000 barrels per day.