December crude oil prices trended higher during the initial morning hours, supported in part by better than expected Chinese economic data overnight and hopes for a rebound in US refinery demand following Hurricane Sandy. On the supply side, this morning's delayed EIA inventory report is expected to show an increase in crude stocks last week, in the range of 1.5 million barrels. This would mark the fourth consecutive increase and push inventory levels to their highest level since July 2012.

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