Crude oil rose for the first time in three days on expectations of an increase in fuel demand after an industry report showed that US stockpiles declined, Bloomberg reports.

Crude oil for October 2009 delivery gained as much as $0.60, or 0.9%, to $68.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It was at $68.45 a barrel at 11.17am Singapore time. On 1 September, the contract fell 2.7% to $68.05.

The American Petroleum Institute said that crude supplies declined 3.19 million barrels last week.

Oil also gained after Australia’s economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter of 2009, adding to expansion in France, Germany and Japan.

Australia’s gross domestic product increased 0.6%, the biggest gain in more than a year, from the previous three months when it grew 0.4%, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney.

On 1 September prices rose as much as $1.41 a barrel when reports showed that manufacturing in the US and China expanded in August 2009.

The US and China are responsible for more than 30% of global crude oil demand.

Oil in New York has traded in a range of $65 to $75 a barrel since 31 July.