Crude-oil prices ended sharply higher Thursday in thin post-Christmas trading, as a weekly inventory report indicated a bigger-than-expected decline in stockpiles for oil. American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by 7.9 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 20, according to sources. That was more than analysts’ consensus expectations for a draw of draw of 1.83 million barrels, according to Reuters. West Texas Intermediate oil for February delivery
added 57 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $61.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.