Crude oil futures on Thursday rose for a second straight session to finish at a one-week high as investors were pleased with U.S. government data that revealed a drop in weekly crude supplies, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 50 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $53.76 a barrel—its highest finish since December 29.
March Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 43 cents, or 0.8%, to end trading at $56.89 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Exchange.
Early Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude stockpiles fell by 7.1 million barrels for the week ending December 30. Late Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported a drop of 7.4 million barrels, while analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a decline of 1.7 million barrels.
In related news, OPEC will hold a two-day meeting on January 21-22 to assess compliance with the curb in production.
Meanwhile, natural gas futures gave up earlier losses that were fed by EIA data showing supplies of the fuel fell by a much less-than-expected 49 billion cubic feet for the week ending December. 30. Citi Futures anticipated a decline of 106 billion cubic feet.
February natural gas added less than a penny, or 0.2%, to settle at $3.273 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Before Thursday, prices declined more than 17% from a four-session losing streak on concerns that warmer weather would hurt demand for the heating fuel.