A lift in US refinery utilization rates to 85.7% from 83.5% last week, well above expectations of around 84%, is welcome relief to concerns that low demand was contributing to a surplus of crude oil, says Lachlan Shaw, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery settled up 24 cents, or 0.3%, at $96.58/bbl onthe Nymex Wednesday, the highest settlement since Feb. 19.
ICE Brent crude settled up 33 cents, or 0.3%, at $109.69/bbl.
US crude stocks advanced to 26.9 days of supply last week, near highs of 27.1 days of supply recorded in the week ended March 8.
For the same week in the past five years, US crude oil stocks averaged 24 days of supply, Shaw says. WTI crude for May delivery is up 16 cents at $96.74/bbl on Globex.
Dow Jones Newswires