Oil futures traded slightly higher on Tuesday as investors awaited U.S. supply data and an update on U.S. inflation in June due Wednesday.
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery
gained $1.01, or 1.4%, to $74 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
September Brent crude
gained 77 cents, or 1%, to $78.46 per barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
added 1% to $2.5941 a gallon, while August heating oil
rose 0.5% to $2.5661 per gallon.
August natural gas
rose 2.8% to $2.743 per million British thermal units.
Global benchmark Brent oil saw prices settle at their highest level since early May on Friday, as U.S. benchmark WTI oil marked their highest finish since late May.
Some analysts believe the recent rise could be a sign that prices are heading even higher, with Brent perhaps moving past $80 a barrel for the first time since April.
“While it is still trading around the range highs since early May, the break of the recent high could be viewed as a bullish step that could give it the momentum to break back above $80,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Investors are looking ahead to U.S. weekly inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration due Wednesday.
On average for the week ended July 7, analysts expect the EIA report to show supply declines of 1 million barrels for crude and 1.1 million barrels for gasoline, while distillate stockpiles are expected to have edged up by 150,000 barrels, according to a survey conducted by S&P Global Commodity Insights.
The U.S. June consumer-price index reading due out Wednesday may offer clues on the outcome of the next Federal Reserve policy meeting on July 25-26 — and the prospects for the U.S. economy.
“While the Fed has indicated that the fight against inflation is still not over, they have recognized the signs of inflation cooling, giving investors’ confidence that few rate hikes could be left,” StoneX’s Kansas City energy team, led by Alex Hodes, wrote in Tuesday’s newsletter.
Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expect headline inflation to slow to 3.1% year over year and core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, to slow to 5% year over year.