WTI and Brent Crude Continue Climb on Thursday

Crude oil futures rose again on Thursday as traders looked past growing domestic oil supplies to expectations for a continued pickup in refinery activity and a more favorable global backdrop, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May West Texas Intermediate crude rose 55 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $51.70 a barrel.

June Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 53 cents, or 1%, to finish at $54.82 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Exchange.

Domestic production is seen as the biggest threat to an effort by OPEC and Russia to reduce bulging global inventories. Even though most analysts expect the group to extend the cuts deeper into 2017, bears fear rising U.S. output stands to snuff out price rallies.

Back on the New York Mercantile Exchange, May natural gas futures rose 6.5 cents, or 2%, to close at $3.331 per million British thermal units, marking its highest settlement since January 27.

Natural gas futures ended at a more than two-month high after government data showed a 2 billion cubic feet rise in U.S. natural-gas stockpiles to 2.051 trillion cubic feet last week. That compares with the 7.8 billion cubic feet increase predicted, on average, in a survey of analysts by The Wall Street Journal.

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