Oil Prices Log 3rd Straight Gain Ahead Of Inventory Data

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Crude-oil prices finished higher Tuesday, and futures scored a third positive session of gains in a row, ahead of weekly supply updates on crude inventories in the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery , the most active contract, finished at 24 cents, or 0.5%, higher at $53.30 a barrel, while the January contract , which expired Tuesday, settled up 11 cents, or 0.2%, at $52.23 a barrel. A weekly U.S. supply update is due from the trade industry group American Petroleum Institute at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday and on Wednesday weekly inventory data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration will be released at 10.30 a.m. Eastern. Both reports are likely to be influential to crude-oil futures, which have traded in a relatively narrow, albeit positive, range since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major oil producers forged a pact to cut production. Fears that producers will not adhere to those production limits has caused oil futures to experience volatile trade.

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