NEW YORK, Oct. 18 -- U.S. crude oil edged up on Wednesday on positive data despite the bigger-than-expected increase in crude stocks.
The market sentiment was high in the earlier trading after Moody's Investors Service affirmed its ratings on Spain government bond late Tuesday, easing investors' worries about debt crisis in the euro zone.
In U.S., the housing data came in strong and helped further lift sentiment. The Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts climbed 15 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units in September, the highest in four years.
But the upbeat sentiment faded as the U.S. crude inventories remained heavy. The Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday U.S. crude inventories rose 2.9 million barrels to 369.2 million barrels in the week ended October 12, more than analysts' expectation of 1.7-million barrel build. Gasoline inventories added 1.7 million barrels, while distillate inventories fell 2.2 million barrels in the week.
And worries about weakening global oil demand still weighed on the markets in view of sluggish economic growth across the world.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery gained 3 cent to settle at 92.12 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But Brent crude for December delivery edged down 78 cents, or 0.68 percent to close at 113.22 dollars a barrel.