The U.S.’ crude oil inventories increased less than market expectations last week, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

Commercial crude oil inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels, or 0.4%, to 455.4 million barrels for the week ending March 20, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was an increase of 2.77 million barrels. Inventories rose by 1.95 million barrels during the previous week.

Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 635 million barrels last week, the data revealed.

Gasoline inventories, on the other hand, showed

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