Oil Prices Climb on Robust China Data, Mideast Tension

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Oil prices climbed on Tuesday as data from China showed the worlds second largest oil consumers import growth surging and on tensions in the Middle East after the Yemenbased Houthi movement said it fired missiles on Saudi oil sites.

Brent crude oil futures were up 31 cents, or 0.5, at 63.59 a barrel by 0356 GMT while U.S. crude oil futures gained 28 cents, or 0.5, to 59.98 a barrel.

Chinas exports grew at a robust pace in March in yet another boost to the nations economic recovery as global demand picks up amid progress in worldwide COVID19 vaccinations, while import growth surged to the highest in four years.

Crude oil imports into China also jumped 21 in March from a low base of comparison a year earlier as refiners ramped up operation amid robust fuel demand as the COVID19 pandemic eased.

The data … points to a domestic revival that could be good news for gasoline demand and as such oil prices have moved higher post the release, said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.

Also supporting prices, U.S. crude oil stockpiles were expected to have dropped last week for a third straight week, while distillate and gasoline inventories likely grew, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Still, U.S. oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise for a third straight month, climbing by about 13,000 barrels per day bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

Yemens Iranaligned Houthi…

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