WTI oil futures hold near 6-week high ahead of Yellen, supply report

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Investing.com - U.S. oil futures held near a six-week high on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's first testimony on monetary policy to Congress later in the day as well as U.S. weekly supply data to gauge the strength of oil demand from the world's largest consumer.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March traded in a range between USD99.89 a barrel and USD100.49 a barrel.

Nymex oil prices last traded at USD100.42 a barrel during European morning hours, up 0.35%.

The March contract hit USD100.55 a barrel on Monday, the highest since December 27, before trimming gains to settle at USD100.06 a barrel, up 0.18%.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD99.11 a barrel, the low from February 10 and resistance at USD100.75 a barrel, the high from December 27.

Ms. Yellen was to testify on monetary policy and the outlook for the economy before the House Financial Services Committee later Tuesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

The Fed chair was expected to reiterate that the bank will continue to unwind its stimulus program as long as the economic recovery continues as expected, and to repeat that the bank will keep interest rates at current record lows for some time to come.

The testimony is coming amid fresh concerns over the outlook for the recovery, following the weakest two-month stretch of U.S. job creation in three years in December and January.

The Fed tapered its monthly asset purchase program by another USD10 billion to USD65 billion a month at its last policy meeting.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday's government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 3 million barrels in the week ended February 7.

The data was also expected to show that distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, decreased by 2.3 million barrels.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for March delivery tacked on 0.35% to trade at USD109.00 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD8.58 a barrel.

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