U.S. crude oil inventories down: API

HOUSTON, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a decrease of 6.076 million barrels of crude oil in U.S. inventories for the week ending March 24.

Analysts had expected a hike of 0.187 million barrels for this week.

The API reported a surge of 3.262 million barrels in the previous week.

U.S. oil prices advanced on Tuesday as traders awaited data on U.S. fuel stockpiles.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery added 39 cents, or 0.54 percent, to settle at 73.20 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly petroleum status report on Wednesday.

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