Oil climbs on upbeat China data, Mideast tension
Oil prices rose on Tuesday as data showed China’s consumer import growth rose and on Middle East tensions after the Yemen-based Houthi movement said it fired missiles on Saudi oil sites.
Brent crude futures climbed 0.5%, or 31 cents, at $63.59 per barrel. U.S. West Intermediate crude oil futures rose 0.5%, or 28 cents, at $59.98 per barrel.
Chinese exports rose at a sharp pace in March in another boost to the nation’s economic recovery. This came as demand picked up over fast COVID-19 global vaccinations.
Also supporting prices, U.S. crude oil inventories were expected to have fallen for a third week last week, while distillate and gasoline stocks grew.
Still, U.S. oil production from seven major shale formations is expected to climb by 13,000 bpd to 7.61 million bpd in May, its third straight month of gains.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement said it had fired 17 drones and two ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, including Saudi Aramco facilities.
A slow vaccination rate in Europe and expectations for additional oil supply from Iran in the coming months capped gains.