MTECHTIPS:-U.S. oil prices top $59 ahead of API supply data
West Texas Intermediate oil futures turned higher on Tuesday, as traders looked ahead to weekly data on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products later in the day. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for August delivery hit a session low of $57.96, a level not seen since June 5, before recovering to trade at $59.01 during U.S. morning hours, up 68 cents, or 1.11%. On Monday, Nymex oil tumbled $1.30, or 2.18%, to end at $58.33. The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles fell by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended June 26. Worries over high domestic U.S. oil production, despite a declining rig count, have weighed on prices in recent weeks. According to industry research group Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell by three last week to 628. The drop marks the 29th straight week of declines. However, U.S. oil production has held around 9.6 million barrels a day in recent weeks, the highest level since the early 1970s. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery jumped $1.16, or 1.88%, to trade at $63.17 a barrel. A day earlier, London-traded Brent futures hit $61.35, the weakest level since June 5, before closing down $1.25, or 1.98%, at $62.01. The spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $4.16 a barrel, compared to $3.68 by close of trade on Monday.