RTTNews - Crude oil soared to its best close in more than two months on Wednesday on an Energy Information Administration report that showed crude inventories unexpectedly fell sharply in the recent week.

Light sweet crude for September settlement rallied to $72.42 a barrel, up $3.23 on the session. Prices reached as high as $72.80 earlier in the day.

The September contract expires on Thursday. The more actively-traded October crude oil jumped to $73.83 per barrel, up $2.74.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 8.4 million barrels from the previous week. Analysts expected to see a rise of about 1.1 million barrels for the week. At 343.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.1 million barrels last week. Experts were looking for a decline of about 1.7 million barrels. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 700,000 barrels.

American Petroleum Institute data released last night showed crude inventories fell 6.1 million barrels last week, while gasoline stocks fell 847,000 barrels and distillates added 1.5 million barrels. API data is not as closely watched as the EIA report because participation in the industry data is voluntary.

Earlier, Kuwait oil minister Sheikh Ahmed al-Abdullah al-Sabah reportedly said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should keep output the same for a third straight meeting. The cartel next meets on September 9 in Vienna.

A weaker dollar also boosted crude's hedge appeal. The dollar fell to 1.4175 against the euro to move away from a recently-reached 2 1/2-week low. The buck moved off its highs of the day against the pound.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com