MTECHTIPS;- Oil Prices Continue Higher As Focus Shifts to U.S. Supply Data

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MTECHTIPS;- Oil Prices Continue Higher As Focus Shifts to U.S. Supply Data

MTECHTIPS-Crude prices continued higher on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to fresh data on U.S. commercial crude inventories to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30 PM ET (2030 GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 2.6 million barrels. New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures tacked on 53 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to $69.17 a barrel by 4:05 AM ET (0805 GMT), not far from last Thursday’s peak of $69.56, which was the highest since Nov. 28, 2014. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., ticked up 39 cents, or around 0.5%, to $75.11 a barrel. The global benchmark climbed as high as $75.27 earlier in the session, a level not seen since Nov. 27, 2014. Oil prices settled higher in volatile trade on Monday, shaking off early losses, as geopolitical tension in the Middle East and concerns about supply disruptions in key oil-producing nations supported the market. Ongoing efforts by major global crude producers to reduce a supply glut further added to positive sentiment. OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, have been holding back oil output by around 1.8 million bpd since the start of last year to slash global inventories to the five year-average. The arrangement is set to expire at the end of 2018

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