Oil fell ahead of USA stockpile and production data Wednesday as China's crude imports fell last month, but uncertainty in the Middle East eased losses. Crude inventories fell by 2.4 million barrels in the week to October 27, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 1.8 million barrels.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose 720,000 barrels, EIA said. The API is scheduled to release its data for last week at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday, and the EIA report is due at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday.
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Brent futures LCOc1 fell 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $63.49 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 fell 39 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $56.81 per barrel. US gasoline futures pared losses after the report, which was seen as bullish for refined products.
U.S. Midwest gasoline inventories fell to 44.5 million barrels last week, the lowest weekly figure since November 2014, EIA data showed.
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Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 1.9 million-barrel drop.
Oil prices settled slightly lower on Wednesday after US government data showed rising domestic crude production, a surprise build in USA stockpiles and a decline in monthly Chinese crude imports, a triple blow that was offset somewhat by rising tensions in the Middle East. Refining capacity utilisation increased by 1.5 percentage points from the previous week to 89.6%.
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