Oil Surges Ahead of U.S. Supply Data

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By Jacob Maslow

Oil prices edged higher in European markets on Wednesday, as investors awaited the release of weekly supply data slated later in the day. Analysts are expecting a modest rise in U.S. crude inventories compared to last week, indicating further slowdown in U.S. crude production.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil supplies at 10:30AM ET.

Crude for April delivery jumped $0.56 cents, or 1.53% to trade higher at $37.06 a barrel by 5:30AM ET.

On Tuesday, oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $1.40, or 3.69%, as weak data from China revived fears about a global slowdown, prompting investors to cash in on gains from a recent rally.

After plummeting to 13-year lows on February 11 at $26.05 a barrel, prices for New York-traded oil have since recovered by about 33% thanks to a slow but consistent decrease in U.S. shale production, which boosted investor sentiment.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil slated for May delivery went up $0.65, or 1.64%, to trade higher at $40.30 a barrel. Just a day before, Brent futures shed $1.19, or 2.91%.

London-traded Brent surged to a three-month high of $41.04 earlier this week after major oil producers announced that they will meet again to discuss details of a potential output cap.

Brent futures have been up by approximately 30%, since falling below $30 a barrel on February 11.

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