Investing.com - Crude oil futures inched higher on Tuesday, as
market participants looked ahead to fresh weekly information on
U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength
of demand in the world's largest oil consumer.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for June delivery
tacked on 27 cents, or 0.45%, to trade at $59.52 a barrel during
European morning hours. Prices held in a tight range between $59.13
A day earlier, Nymex oil shed 14 cents, or 0.24%, to end at $59.25.
New York-traded oil futures hit a five-month peak of $62.58 on May
The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories
report later in the day, while Wednesday's government report could
show crude stockpiles fell by 125,000 barrels in the week ended May
U.S. oil futures have been well-supported in recent weeks as an
ongoing collapse in rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. added to
expectations that shale oil production has peaked and may start
falling in the coming months.
According to industry research group Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), the
number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell by 11 last week to
668, the 22nd straight week of declines and the lowest level since
Oil traders have been paying close attention to the shrinking rig
count in recent months for signs it will eventually reduce the glut
of crude flowing into the market.
But market analysts also warned that the recent rally in the oil
market could prompt some producers to dial up their output if
prices hold above more than $60 a barrel.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for
July delivery added 29 cents, or 0.44%, to trade at $65.91 a
barrel. On Monday, Brent prices lost 54 cents, or 0.82%, to close
at $65.62. London-traded Brent futures rallied to a five-month high
of $69.93 on May 6.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties will publish its
monthly assessment of oil markets later Tuesday, as investors look
for further clues on global supply and demand prospects.
The spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at
$6.39 a barrel early on Tuesday, compared to $6.37 by close of
trade on Monday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's
strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies,
was down 0.5% to hit 94.64, moving off the previous day's high of
Market players looked ahead to Wednesday's U.S. retail sales report
for April, for fresh indications on the strength of the economy and
the timing of a U.S. rate increase.
Recent economic reports have indicated that the economy has slowed
since the start of the year, prompting many investors to push back
expectations on the timing of an initial rate hike by the Federal
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