Oil rose for a third day amid signs of rebounding demand among U.S. refiners.

Crude futures rose almost 2 per cent  in New York on Wednesday after a government report showed so-called refinery utilization increased last week to the highest since late-December. Prices advanced despite a surprise increase in domestic crude held in storage to the highest since June 2021.

“Demand looks pretty good,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.

Embedded Image

Oil has been trading in a narrow band this year as investors watch for sustained signs of a resurgence in Chinese economic activity in the port-Covid era. Traders also are closely looking for fallout from fresh sanctions on Russian fuel and any impacts on trade flows.

Diesel futures fell by 0.4 per cent  after the Energy Information Administration report showed stockpiles of distillate fuels rose to the highest in a year. An unusually mild winter has limited heating oil demand and fuel switching at power plants.

Prices and related news:

  • WTI for March delivery settled US$1.33 higher at US$78.47 a barrel in New York.
  • Brent for April settlement closed up US$1.40 to US$85.09.