MTECHTIPS;-Crude Oil Prices Rise Back Toward 5-Month Highs as Focus

MTECHTIPS;-Crude Oil Prices Rise Back Toward 5-Month Highs as Focus Shifts to U.S. Stockpile Data, OPEC Meeting

MTECHTIPS- Crude oil prices rose back toward the five-month highs seen last week on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products to weigh what the impact of recent storm activity was on supply and demand. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30 PM ET (2030 GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock gain of around 2.9 million barrels, which would mark the third weekly increase in a row.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures tacked on 20 cents, or around 0.4%, to $50.55 a barrel by 3:17 AM ET (0717 GMT), not far from a five-month high of $50.88 touched last Thursday. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was up 14 cents, or about 0.3%, to $55.62 a barrel. It traded as high as $55.99 intraday last Thursday, a level last seen since April 17. Oil prices settled slightly lower on Monday, after posting a roughly 5% gain last week
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