WTI Oil Tops $50 To Mark Highest Finish In More Than Three Weeks

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil prices settled higher Thursday, with West Texas Intermediate crude finishing at its highest level in more than three weeks. U.S. supplies of gasoline and distillates dropped more than expected last week and refinery activity climbed, raising the potential for stronger crude demand. Growing expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to extend its production-cut agreement also contributed to oil's price climb. May West Texas Intermediate crude rose 84 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $50.35 a barrel.

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