Crude oil futures extended gains on Tuesday, jumping to a three-day high after stronger-than-expected U.S. housing data boosted future demand expectations from the world’s largest oil consumer.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded at USD98.61 a barrel during U.S. morning trade, rallying 2.37%.
It earlier rose as much as 2.6% to trade at USD98.75 a barrel, the highest price since July 14.
The U.S. Census Bureau said earlier that the number of building permits issued in June rose 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted 0.62 million, confounding expectations for a decline of 2.3% to 0.6 million.
U.S. housing starts surged 14.6% in June to hit a six-month high of 0.63 million, higher than expectations for a gain of 0.57 million.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.44% to trade at 75.36, the lowest since July 14.
Oil prices typically strengthen when the U.S. currency weakens as the dollar-priced commodity becomes cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Meanwhile, markets were awaiting fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.
The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show stockpiles declined by 1.5 million barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles were projected to fall 0.1 million barrels.
U.S. oil supplies have declined in each of the past six weeks, falling nearly 5% since the end of May amid U.S. peak gasoline demand and the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Crude prices were also boosted after a report from China’s National Development and Reform Commission released earlier showed that Chinese fuel consumption rose 7.2% in the six months to June.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for September delivery climbed 1.5% to trade at USD118.03 a barrel, up USD19.42 on its U.S. counterpart.
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