NEW YORK, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices edged up on Wednesday as U.S. GDP growth rate for the forth quarter was revised up to 3.0 percent, lifting market sentiment.
The U.S. Commerce Department revised the fourth quarter GDP growth up to 3.0 percent from the initial estimate of 2.8 percent, beating analysts' projection of unchanged. The latest figure was much higher than a modest 1.8 percent rise in the third quarter, which boosted the market sentiment.
But the build in domestic crude inventories was bearish to crude prices. According to report released by the Energy Information Administration, U.S. crude stocks increased 4.2 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 24. The report showed that refineries reduced input because of rising fuel prices, while gasoline demand, measured here by wholesale supplies, was down a very steep 6.7 percent compared to this time last year and distillate demand was down 5.1 percent.
Besides, the dollar gained on Wednesday as the euro tumbled 1 percent against the greenback on another round of European Central Bank's liquidity injection and the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony lowered expectation of more monetary easing policy. The dollar index rose about 0.6 percent, posing pressure on oil for most of the trading session.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 52 cents, or 0.49 percent to settle at 107.07 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the whole February, it gained 8.59 dollars, or 8.72 percent, ending the losses streak of two straight months.
In London, Brent crude for April delivery gained 1.11 dollars, or 0.91 percent to close at 122.66 dollars a barrel. For this month, it 11.68 dollars, or 10.52 percent, registering its best performance since last February.