U.S. oil settled higher Tuesday as tensions in the Middle East helped to extend gains in crude futures. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange
finished up 35 cents, or 0.5%, at $71.31 a barrel. Turmoil in the Middle East and U.S. trade sanctions against major oil producer Iran have supported higher prices for oil. Moreover, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reduced its forecast for global oil production in its most recent report. Although the group said its crude output inched up in the previous month, investors interpreted the minimal increase as a sign of OPEC’s continued commitment to rebalancing the market, especially from its de facto leader Saudi Arabia. Energy traders will be looking ahead to data about U.S. oil output from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday as well as a report on inventories from the International Energy Agency on the same day.