Oil futures rose for a third straight session and settled at a nearly one-month high on Thursday, finding support on expectations that a seasonal pickup in refining activity will help draw down massive U.S. crude stockpiles. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 55 cents, or 1.1%, to close at $51.70 a barrel, the highest settlement for a most-active contract since March 7. Analysts said expectations a seasonal pickup in refining activity will lead to a fall in U.S. supplies helped offset disappointment a day earlier in an unexpected rise in inventories.
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