Crude oil futures finished higher on Wednesday as analysts predicted a drop in supplies for the first time in three weeks, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February West Texas Intermediate crude rose 93 cents, or 1.8%, to settle at $53.26 a barrel.
On the London ICE Futures Exchange, March Brent crude, the global benchmark, added 99 cents, or 1.8%, to end trading at $56.46 a barrel.
Oil traders will also look to the latest weekly figures on U.S. petroleum supplies due out from the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday and the Energy Information Administration Thursday morning. Both reports are delayed by a day because of the New Year’s Day holiday.
Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts forecast a decline of 1.7 million barrels in crude inventories for the week ending December 30. If the EIA data reflects a decline in crude oil stocks, it would be the first time since the week ending December 9.
Meanwhile, February natural gas fell 6 cents, or 1.8%, to settle at $3.267 per million British million thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.