Investing.com - A double shot of improving U.S. consumer confidence and chilly weather along with hopes for a bullish inventory report sent oil prices posting impressive gains on Tuesday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March traded at USD97.30 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 1.65%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of USD95.63 a barrel and a high of USD97.75 a barrel.
The March contract settled down 0.95% at USD95.72 a barrel on Monday.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD95.22 a barrel, Monday''s low, and resistance at USD97.83 a barrel, Thursday''s high.
The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence improved to 80.7 this month from a downwardly revised 77.5 in December.
Analysts were expecting the index to rise to 78.1, and the numbers boosted hopes for a more robust U.S. economy down the road, one that will demand more fuel and energy going forward.
Elsewhere, bitter cold temperatures across the U.S. sent prices rising on expectations for demand for heating oil to rise in the coming days, while concerns that cold weather could disrupt oil distribution also pressured prices higher.
Hopes supply data will bolster prices remained high was well.
The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 2.7 million barrels in the week ended January 24.
Demand for distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, have beaten expectations in recent weeks.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for March delivery were up 0.72% and trading at 107.46 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD10.16 a barrel.
The spread between the two contracts narrowed as the Keystone XL pipeline linking Cushing, Oklahoma, to the U.S. Gulf Coast began making deliveries last week.
Flows will rise over the course of the year toward its 700,000-barrel capacity, which should help alleviate a glut of crude in the Midwest.
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