West TX Oil Below $60 as Stockpiles Weigh

U.S. oil futures closed down 25 cents at $60.50 a barrel on Wednesday despite crude stockpiles slipping for a second straight week, but traders and analysts said inventories were still hefty for this time of year and could undercut the market’s advance.

Crude futures have risen between 20 and 25 percent over the past six weeks on signs that increasing demand ahead of the peak U.S. driving season could ease a supply glut.

U.S. government data showed oil inventories fell 2.2 million barrels in the week to May 8 to below 485 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 386,000 barrels. Gasoline and distillate stockpiles also declined.