Record Gasoline Withdrawals Boost Oil, Energy ETFs

Oil equipment and services ETFs were leading the charge Wednesday as crude oil prices rebounded on a record drop in gasoline inventories and a stabilizing energy market.

On Wednesday, the PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (NasdaqGM: PSCE) rose 3.9%, SPDR Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: XES) increased 3.8% and SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEArca: XOP) gained 3.1%. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest exchange traded fund dedicated to energy equities, was up 1.1%.

The energy sector strengthened while the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, was 1.7% higher and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, advanced 1.4%. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil futures were 1.9% higher to $49.1 per barrel and Brent crude was 1.3% higher to $55.0 per barrel.

Supporting gains in the oil market, the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed that gasoline stockpiles dipped by 8.4 million barrels in the week ended September 8, the largest weekly decline on record in EIA data going as far back as 1990, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks of distillates also declined by a more-than-expected 3.2 million barrels. Crude stockpiles rose by 5.9 million barrels last week but was still less than the estimated build of 6.2 million barrels.