- U.S. oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, after data showed that U.S. retail sales rose more-than-expected in December, while core sales also topped forecasts.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth. The U.S. is the world’s largest oil consumer.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March traded at USD92.74 a barrel during U.S. morning trade, up 0.8%. New York-traded oil futures rose to a session high of USD93.01 a barrel earlier.

The March contract settled 1.01% lower on Monday to end at USD92.01 a barrel. Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD91.47 a barrel, the low from January 9 and resistance at USD93.56 a barrel, the high from January 10.

The U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month, beating expectations for a 0.1% increase. Retail sales for November were revised down to a 0.4% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.7%.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, edged up 0.7% last month, above forecasts for a 0.4% increase. Core sales rose by 0.1% in November.

Market players now looked ahead to key U.S. weekly supply data to gauge the strength of oil demand from the world’s largest consumer.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 0.5 million barrels in the week ended January 10.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for February delivery inched down 0.1% to trade at USD105.88 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD13.14 a barrel.

London-traded Brent prices extended losses from the previous session after Western powers reached a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

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