Oil prices climb, eyeing highest settlement since November as U.S. inflation report looms

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Oil futures traded higher early Tuesday, leaving the front-month contract within striking distance of its highest settlement level since November as investors awaited more U.S. inflation data and a European central bank decision on interest rates this week.

Price action

  • The front-month October West Texas intermediate contract


    rose 80 cents, or 0.9%, to $88.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract traded as high as $88.15 intraday, the highest for a front-month contract since November.

  • November Brent crude

    the global benchmark, gained 62 cents, or 0.6%, to $91.27 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

  • Gasoline for October delivery

    was little-changed at $2.72 a gallon, while October heating oil fell by 0.3% to $3.35 a gallon.

  • October natural gas

    rose by 2.4% to $2.67 per million British thermal units.

Market drivers

A rally in oil prices driven by supply cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia has slowed this week as concerns about global economic growth have re-emerged, analysts said, citing commentary out of the eurozone.

“The rally has stalled a little over the last week but there are few signs of a corrective move lower at this stage and therefore I suspect we’ll hear a lot more $100 oil chat before long,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, in emailed commentary.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries left its predictions for the global oil market largely unchanged Tuesday, continuing to forecast rising demand for oil, despite Saudi Arabia and Russia saying that they would be reducing supply until the end of the year.

A report from he International Energy Agency is due out Wednesday.

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