Investing.com - Crude prices hit four-month highs on a triple-shot of bullish news on Tuesday, with U.S. data, a winter storm and supply concerns in the Middle East bolstering demand from the commodity.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at USD101.63 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 1.49%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of USD100.31 a barrel and a high of USD101.65 a barrel.
The April contract settled up 0.08% at USD100.13 a barrel on Monday. U.S. energy markets were closed for the Presidents Day holiday on Monday.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD100.31 a barrel, the earlier low, and resistance at USD102.95 a barrel, the high from Oct. 16.
Updated weather forecasting models indicated that a strong winter storm was set to sweep over the northeastern U.S. on Tuesday and bring strong winds and fresh snowfall.
Frigid weather reports sent crude prices rising on sentiments demand for heating oil will climb as temperatures fall across the heavily-populated northeastern U.S.
Soft data out of the U.S. sent prices rising as well due to the monetary implications they may bring.
The dollar weakened after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index came in at 4.48 for February, down from a 20-month high of 12.51 in January. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 9.00.
The new orders index fell to zero from a two-year high of 11 last month.
The numbers were the latest in a series of soft U.S. economic indicators that have prompted many investors to wonder whether the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of reductions to its asset-buying stimulus program.
The Fed is currently buying USD65 billion in bonds a month to suppress interest rates to spur recovery, which weakens the dollar as a side effect.
A weaker greenback makes oil an attractive commodity on dollar-denominated exchanges.
Supply concerns out of the Middle East pushed up prices as well.
Reports that protests in Libya have disrupted oil operations bolstered prices as did news that South Sudanese rebels seized control of an oil-producing region in the country.
Ongoing fears Iran''s nuclear talks may hit snags also bolstered oil.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for April delivery were up 0.81% and trading at 110.07 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at 8.44 a barrel.
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