Crude oil futures rose with the prices of Brent leading as violence in Libya and concerns on Iran’s nuclear program increase risks of global oil supplies.
Rival Libyan forces carried out air strikes on an airport and air terminals, raising fears over local supplies of crude.
Market Watch reported that crude oil futures for April delivery settled up 1.9% or 93 cents at $50.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
April delivery Brent crude on the ICE Futures of London climbed 2.5% or $1.48 ending at $61.02 per barrel.
Gains accelerated when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the US congress that the nuclear deal being negotiated by Tehran and Washington would almost guarantee nuclear weapons for Iran.
Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy was quoted by Reuters as having said, “His speech may have reinforced the geopolitical tensions around Iran, though I don’t believe this rebound has legs given the fundamental picture of oil oversupply.”
US crude was choppy for most part of the day amid worries of another stockpile build last week that might add to record highs after eight consecutive weeks of builds. The market has also been under pressure from the spread play versus Brent, as participants bet on it to decline further before the issuance of inventory data by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Petroleum product prices rose ahead of the weekly supply data. Nymex April delivery gasoline climbed 2.8% or 5.3 cents to $1.9499 per gallon and heating oil for April delivery rose 2.8% or 5.2 cents at $1.9395.
April natural gas gained 0.5% or 1.4 cents to close at $2.712 per million British thermal units.
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