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Futures Movers: Oil edges higher after back-to-back declines

Oil futures rose modestly early Tuesday, stabilizing after back-to-back declines as investors await U.S. supply data.

Price action

West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery



rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $74.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

September Brent crude

the global benchmark, was up 32 cents, or 0.4%, at $78.82 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Back on Nymex, August gasoline

rose 0.8% to $2.654 a gallon, while August heating oil

gained 0.8% to $2.584 a gallon.

August natural gas

rose 2.7% to $2.579 per million British thermal units.

Market drivers

Crude was stabilizing after a Monday pullback that was blamed on weak data on Chinese economic growth and the restart of production at Libyan oil fields that had been shut down due to protests.

Crude prices remain down sharply in the year to date but have bounced in July, buoyed in part by expectations for a tightening market in the second half amplified by additional supply cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

“Supply concerns could continue to support an uptrend in the market over the medium term as traders could remain cautious in the face of potential new intervention from OPEC+ to balance prices,” Denys Peleshok, head of Asia at CPT Markets, said in a note.

“However, demand concerns could remain the center of attention for traders and could create some uncertainty and fuel some volatility and price corrections. In this regard, the market reacted to Chinese economic data which continued to show a weaker-than-expected recovery,” Peleshok wrote.

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