Oil In Highest Since May 2015, Sells For $68.82c

Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday, with U.S. crude touching its highest since December 2014, supported by OPEC-led production cuts and expectations that U.S. crude inventories have dropped for an eighth week in a row.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia are keeping supply limits in place in 2018, a second year of restraint, to reduce a price-denting glut of oil held in inventories.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.23, or 2 percent, to settle at $62.96 a barrel after touching its highest since December 2014 at $63.24.

Brent crude ended the session up $1.04, or 1.5 percent, at $68.82 per barrel after hitting a session high of $69.08, its highest since May 2015. Both contracts had their strongest close since December 2014.

“You’re so long this market at this point, you could certainly get more interest at these levels,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

“This is a little more confirmation of what speculators have been looking for and after tomorrow’s (U.S. government inventory) report, we’ll see if they look to do some profit-taking.”

OPEC is cutting output by even more than it promised and the restraint is reducing oil stocks globally, a trend most visible in the United States, the world’s largest and most transparent oil market. [OPEC/O]

Supply reports this week from industry group the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration are expected to show U.S. crude stocks fell 3.9 million barrels, an eighth week of decline. [EIA/S]

The API releases its data at 4:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday and the government report is due at 10:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

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