Oil Futures Down Again as Traders Anxiously Await Data

Oil futures ended lower in a wild trading session Tuesday, unable to overcome doubts that a major global agreement to freeze production will be reached this month.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude futures for delivery in May ended with a gain of 19 cents, or 0.5%, at $35.89 a barrel, bouncing back after settling at a one-month low on Monday.

June Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures Exchange rose 18 cents, or 0.5%, to $37.87 a barrel.

Oil futures rallied last month on expectations that major oil players inside and outside of OPEC were inching toward a collective production freeze at January levels; however, the gains evaporated in the past few days after Saudi Arabia said Friday it would only freeze production if Iran follows suit. Major oil producers are set to meet April 17 to discuss an output pact.

Traders will be watching weekly U.S. crude production and inventory data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. U.S. crude stockpiles likely grew by 2.9 million barrels in the week ended April 1, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

May natural gas futures fell 4.4 cents, or 2.2%, to $1.954 per million British thermal units.


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