Oil prices rose on Wednesday, pulling up after a losing streak in the past six trading sessions, supported by an expected fall in crude oil inventories in the United States, the world's top energy consumer.

By 1333 GMT, U.S. crude rose 97 cents to $72.94 a barrel, having fallen to $71.44 earlier. It closed at $71.98 on Monday, the lowest since early June.

ICE Brent crude futures were $1.03 at $72.48.

Andy Sommer, energy market analyst with EGL in Switzerland, said prices were supported ahead of the release of weekly U.S. oil data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) at 2030 GMT on Wednesday and federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) due on Thursday.

API and EIA are expected to show relatively big declines in inventories, Sommer said.

He added that some investors were trying to take advantage of the fall in prices over the past week.

Prices are a bit undervalued now so it may be partly a reason for the bounce now.

U.S. oil data for the week to July 2 is likely to show a 2.6 million barrels drop in crude stocks, a fall for the second consecutive week, due to lower imports in the United States, a Reuters poll of analysts showed.

Gasoline inventories were forecast down 300,000 barrels.

The release has been delayed by one day due to the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Monday.

The global equity market, with which oil has shown relatively strong correlation recently, popped up from earlier losses on optimism that results from impending stress tests may not be as bad as feared.

World stocks as measured by MSCI trimmed earlier losses. In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 turned positive. Major U.S. stock indexes moved higher.

Euro zone economic growth in the first three months of 2010 was confirmed on Wednesday at 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter and 0.6 percent on the year, European Union statistics office Eurostat said, but any stronger expansion in the second quarter could be short-lived.

For a graphic of the correlation between oil and stock markets:

(Reporting by Alejandro Barbajosa in Singapore; editing by Alison Birrane and Keiron Henderson)