Oil rallies on U.S. data, bullish EIA monthly report
By Robert Gibbons
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil futures rallied on Tuesday and U.S. crude approached 2015 highs on strong jobs data and government forecasts for lower U.S. crude production growth and higher global demand for oil.
U.S. job openings surged to a 14-year high in February the Labor Department's monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) said, helping erase oil's early losses.
"That JOLTS report was certainly quite strong and strong employment equals strong gasoline demand," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
An Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly report raising forecasts for U.S. and global demand growth and lowering forecasts for crude oil production growth in the United States also was supportive.
U.S. May crude rose $1.84 to settle at $53.98 a barrel after dropping to $51.17. The $54.13 peak was the highest since reaching $54.15 on Feb. 17. Prices hit $54.24 on Feb. 3 and the 2015 peak was $55.11 on Jan. 2.
Brent May crude rose 98 cents to settle at $59.10, having swung from $57.02 to $59.27, highest since March 26.
U.S. and Brent futures pared gains sharply in post-settlement trading after data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) showed crude stocks rose 12.2 million barrels last week.
Expectations were only for inventories to be up 3.4 million barrels in a survey taken ahead of the report. Continued...